The chain has suffered since consumers reduced spending in the recession. It was also hurt due to the fact that many restaurant locations are in retail malls, which shoppers avoided during the economic downturn.
Sbarro is also hurt by debt that it took on when private-equity firm MidOcean Partners bought it in January.
It has total assets of about $471 million and about $486.6 million in debt, according to the bankruptcy filing.
Sbarro Inc. said that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to restructure.