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|Type||Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founded||Wichita, Kansas (1958)|
|Founder(s)||Dan and Frank Carney|
|Headquarters||Plano, Texas, U.S.|
|Key people||David C. Novak, Chairman |
Scott Bergren, President
|Products||Italian-American cuisine |
pizza · pasta · desserts
|Parent||PepsiCo (1977–1997) |
Yum! Brands (1997–present)
Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (the world's largest restaurant company) with approximately 34,000 restaurants, delivery/carry-out locations, and kiosks in 100 countries.
Concept and format
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"Pizza Hut Express" and "The Hut" locations are fast food restaurants. They offer a limited menu with many products not found at traditional Pizza Huts. These type of stores are often paired in a colocated location with a sibling brand such as Wing Street, KFC or Taco Bell, and are also found on college campuses, food courts, theme parks, and in stores such as Target.
Traditionally, Pizza Hut has been known for its ambiance as much as pizza. Vintage "Red Roof" locations can be found throughout the United States, and quite a few exist in the UK and Australia. Even so, many such locations offer delivery/carryout service. This building style was common in the 1960s and 1970s. The name "Red Roof" is somewhat anachronistic now, since many locations have brown roofs. Dozens of "Red Roofs" have closed or been relocated/rebuilt. Many "Red Roof" branches have beer if not a full bar, music from a jukebox, and sometimes an arcade. In the 1980s, the company moved into other successful formats including delivery/carryout and the fast food "Express" model.
The oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut in the world is in Manhattan, Kansas, in a shopping and tavern district known as Aggieville near Kansas State University.
HistoryDan and Frank Carney in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas. When a friend suggested opening a pizza parlor, they agreed that the idea could prove successful, and they borrowed $600 from their mother to start a business with partner John Bender. Renting a small building at 503 South Bluff in downtown Wichita and purchasing secondhand equipment to make pizzas, the Carneys and Bender opened the first "Pizza Hut" restaurant; on opening night, they gave pizza away to encourage community interest. They chose the name "Pizza Hut" since the sign they purchased only had enough space for nine characters and spaces. Additional restaurants were opened, with the first franchise unit opening in 1959 in Topeka, Kansas. The original Pizza Hut building was later relocated to the Wichita State University campus.
Dan and Frank Carney soon decided that they needed to have a good standard image. The Carney brothers contacted Wichita architect Richard D. Burke, who designed the distinctive mansard roof shape and standardized layout, hoping to counter competition from Shakey's Pizza, a chain that was expanding on the west coast. The franchise network continued to grow through friends and business associates, and by 1964 a unique standardized building appearance and layout was established for franchised and company-owned stores, creating a universal look that customers easily recognized.
By 1972, with 314 stores nationwide, Pizza Hut went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker symbol NYSE: PIZ. In 1978, Pizza Hut was acquired by Pepsico, who later also bought KFC and Taco Bell. In 1997, the three restaurant chains were spun off into Tricon, and in 2001 joined with Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants to become Yum! Brands.
The Pasta Bravo concept was acquired in 2003 from Pasta Bravo, Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif for $5 million to pair with Pizza Hut.
Productspizzeria crusts; "Thin 'N Crispy", a thin, crispy dough which was Pizza Hut's original style; "Dippin' Strips pizza", a pizza cut into small strips that can be dipped into a number of sauces; and "The Edge pizza," where the toppings nearly reach to the edge of the pizza. There was also formerly a crust that was not as thick as Pizza Hut's pan pizza, and not as thin as its thin crust. This crust was used on the Full House XL pizza and discontinued in 2007.
Pizza Hut experiments with new products frequently, with less successful ones being discontinued. These include the initially popular two-foot by one-foot square cut pizza Bigfoot, the 16" Big New Yorker, made with a sweet sauce, the Chicago Dish Pizza and Sicilian pizza, the latter also offered in 2006 as Lasagna Pizza. Other products Pizza Hut has offered are the "P'zone", Pizza Hut's version of the calzone; the Cheesy Bites pizza, similar to the Stuffed Crust pizza except the crust has been divided into 28 bite-sized pieces that can be pulled apart; and the Insider pizza, where a layer of cheese is in between two layers of dough. Another limited time offer was a Double Deep pizza with double the toppings and 50% more cheese, with the crust wrapped over the top to hold in all the toppings. In 1985 Pizza Hut introduced the Priazzo, a two-crusted Italian pie that resembled a deep-dish pizza. Varieties included Priazzo Milano, a blend of Italian sausage, pepperoni, beef, pork fillings, a hint of bacon, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; Priazzo Florentine, a light blend of five cheeses with ham and a touch of spinach, and Priazzo Roma, stuffed with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, pork filling, onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The double-crusted pie was topped with a layer of tomato sauce and melted cheese. The Priazzo was introduced by a $15 million advertising campaign, but proved too labor-intensive and was removed from the menu several years later.
pasta dinners such as spaghetti and Cavatini – a mixture of Cavatelli (shells), Rotini (spirals), and Rotelle (wheels).
penne pasta, chicken pomodoro, toasted sandwiches and other foods. Instead of black, white, and red, Bistro locations feature a burgundy and tan motif. Pizza Hut Bistros still serve the chain's traditional pizzas and sides as well. In some cases, Pizza Hut has replaced a "Red Roof" location with the new concept.
A new version of Pizza Hut pizza, named Pizza Mia which is lightly topped, was introduced in 2007. The product is aimed at the cost sensitive consumer segment and is priced similarly to the Domino's 555 deal, where each pizza is priced at five dollars if purchased in bulk of three or more. In comparison, a Pizza Hut medium sized, hand-tossed pepperoni pizza is internationally priced at $10.24 (Dallas, Texas 1/1/2009). The Pizza Mia comes in only one size (medium) and extra toppings range from $1.25 to $1.49. One slice of Pizza Hut pepperoni Pizza Mia weighs 83 grams, while one slice of Pizza Hut pepperoni hand-tossed pizza weighs 96 grams.
Pizza Hut on May 9, 2008, created and sold in Seattle, Denver, and Dallas, "The Natural", a new all-natural multi-grain crust sweetened with honey, a red sauce of organic tomatoes and topped all-natural cheese (or with all-natural chicken sausage and roasted red peppers). A medium Natural pizza with one topping sold for $9.99. This was discontinued on October 27, 2009 in the Dallas market. It has since launched a nationwide advertising campaign. Also in 2008, Pizza Hut created their biggest pizza ever, the Panormous Pizza. Pizza Hut introduced the Big Eat Tiny Price Menu on June 21, 2009. It features new Pizza Rolls, the P'Zone Pizza, new Personal Panormous Pizza, and the Pizza Mia Pizza, each item starting at $5.00 or $5.99.
Pizza Hut introduced stuffed pan pizza on August 23, 2009 with $10.99 for one toppings and specialty for $13.99. Unlike regular stuffed crust cheese is not inside the crust, just pressed into the pan crust. Pizza Hut introduced the Big Italy, a pizza that is almost two feet long for $12.00, on August 22, 2010.
Pizza Hut recently (2010) came under fire when its supplier of palm oil, Sinar Mas, was exposed to be illegally slashing and burning the Paradise Forests of Indonesia to plant palm oil plantations. This act is driving native people off their land and forcing orangutans and Sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction.
Until early 2007, Pizza Hut's main advertising slogan was "Gather 'round the good stuff", and was "Now You're Eating!" from 2008 to 2009. The advertising slogan is currently "Your Favorites. Your Pizza Hut." Pizza Hut does not have an official international mascot, but at one time, there were commercials in the United States called 'The Pizza Head Show.' These commercials ran from 1993 to 1997 and were based loosely on the Mr. Bill shorts from Saturday Night Live in the 1970s. The ads featured a slice of pizza with a face made out of toppings called 'Pizza Head'. In the 1970s Pizza Hut used the signature red roof with a jolly man named "Pizza Hut Pete". Pete was on the bags, cups, balloons and hand puppets for the kids. In Australia during the Mid to late 1990s, the advertising mascot was a delivery boy named Dougie, with boyish good looks who, upon delivering pizza to his father, would hear the catchphrase "Here's a tip: be good to your mother".
Pizza Hut sponsored the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II, and offered a free pair of futuristic sunglasses, known as "Solar Shades", with the purchase of Pizza Hut pizza. Pizza Hut also engaged in product placement within the film itself, having a futuristic version of their logo with their trademarked red hut printed on the side of a mylar dehydrated pizza wrapper in the McFly family dinner scene, and appear on a storefront in Hill Valley in the year 2015.
The 1990 NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, came with a coupon for a free pizza. The game was filled with Pizza Hut advertising and pizza that would refill the character's life.
In 1994, Donald Trump and ex-wife Ivana Trump starred in a commercial. The ending of the commercial showed Ivana Trump asking for the last slice, to which Donald replied, "Actually dear, you're only entitled to half", a play on the couple's recent divorce.
In 1995, Ringo Starr starred in a Pizza Hut commercial which also featured The Monkees. Rush Limbaugh also starred in a Pizza Hut commercial the same year, where he boasts that "nobody is more right than me," yet he states that for the first time he will do something wrong, which was to participate in Pizza Hut's then "eating pizza crust first" campaign regarding their stuffed crust pizzas.
Talk show host Jonathan Ross, co-starred in an ad with American model, Caprice Bourret. They were used to advertise the stuffed crust pizza, with Jonathan Ross saying "Stuffed Cwust", to which is a play on Jonathan's pronunciation of 'R's.
Another UK ad shows British Formula One driver Damon Hill visit a Pizza Hut restaurant and order a pizza, with famous F1 commentator Murray Walker visiting with him, and narrating as though it was a Formula One race. As Hill is about to finish his meal, Walker, in a play on Hill's 1994 & 1995 seasons where he was runner up in the Formula One World Championship both won by Michael Schumacher, shouts "And Hill finishes second, again!" at which Hill grabs Walker by his shirt and shakes him angrily, Walker proclaiming, in his usual tones, "He's lost it! He's out of control!"
Following England's defeat to Germany on penalties in the semi-finals of Euro 96, Gareth Southgate, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle featured in an advert. The advert shows Southgate wearing a paper bag over his head in shame as he was the one, who missed the crucial penalty against the Germans. Waddle and Pearce, who both missed penalty kicks in Italia 90 are ridiculing him, emphasising the word 'miss' at every opportunity. After Southgate finishes his pizza he takes off his paper bag, heads for the door and bangs his head against the wall. Pearce responds with, "this time he's hit the post".
In 1997, former Soviet Union Premier Mikhail Gorbachev starred in a Pizza Hut commercial to raise money for the Perestroyka Archives. In recent years, Pizza Hut has had various celebrity spokespeople, including Jessica Simpson, the Muppets, and Damon Hill and Murray Walker. Recent commercials have Queen Latifah providing the voiceover. Also in 1997, Pizza Hut, reunited "greatest of all time boxer" Muhammad Ali with trainer Angelo Dundee in a sentimental made for Super Bowl commercial.
Pizza Hut sponsored the first space pizza delivery in 2001 to the International Space Station (ISS), and paid for their logo to appear on a Russian Proton rocket in 2000, which launched the Russian Zvezda module.
In Australia, 2006 saw the introduction of a mascot in Pizza Hut's advertising – "Pizza Mutt", a small dog who delivers pizzas. The mascot was dumped after just two ads.
Early 2007 saw Pizza Hut move into several more interactive ways of marketing to the consumer. Utilizing mobile phone SMS technology and their MyHut ordering site, they aired several television commercials (commencing just before the Super Bowl) containing hidden words that viewers could type into their phones to receive coupons. Other innovative efforts included their "MySpace Ted" campaign, which took advantage of the popularity of social networking, and the burgeoning user-submission marketing movement via their Vice President of Pizza contest.
Pizza Hut is also advertised in anime such as Code Geass, Maria-sama ga Miteru, Darker Than Black and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, though in the translated versions of Code Geass the logo was removed, leaving only the red roof logo.
As of October 2009, Pizza Hut is advertising its WingStreet brand on a nationwide basis, having met its internal requirement of 80% of stores having the product available.
Pasta Hutemails to customers advertising that they now offer pasta items on their menu. The email (and similar advertising on the company's website) stated "Pasta so good, we changed our name to Pasta Hut!" The name change was a publicity stunt held in conjunction with April Fools' Day, extending through the month of April, with the company's Dallas headquarters changing its exterior logo to Pasta Hut. This name change was also used to promote the new Tuscani Pasta line and new Pizza Hut dine-in menu. The first Pasta Hut advertisement has the original Pizza Hut restaurant being imploded, and recreated with a sign saying "Pasta Hut" placed on the building.
United KingdomUnited Kingdom, Pizza Hut announced it would be changing its name to Pasta Hut in October 2008, six months after the US 'April Fool' trial. This was announced as being a temporary name change to reflect the chain's new emphasis on healthier foods On January 19, 2009, Pizza Hut announced that the Pasta Hut trial had ended and that the names of all stores previously converted to Pasta Hut would be converted back to Pizza Hut, following an online poll in which 81% chose to keep the Pizza Hut name.
Costa RicaIn Costa Rica, aside from the Pizza Hut restaurants, there is another brand called "PHD - Pizza Delivered Hot by Pizza Hut." This brand is only for food courts at malls and for express delivery. This was created to compete on the "fast food" market while restaurants will concentrate in casual food.
- In the early 1990s, as part of PepsiCo's sponsorship of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (and its former moniker, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour), Pizza Hut was included in the acknowledgment alongside Taco Bell and KFC, which PepsiCo owned at the time.
- In 2000, Pizza Hut was a part-time sponsor of Galaxy Motorsports' #75 Ford in the then NASCAR Winston Cup Series, driven by Wally Dallenbach Jr.
- Pizza Hut was the shirt sponsor of English football club Fulham F.C. for the 2001–02 season.
- Terry Labonte drove selected events with Pizza Hut as the primary sponsor of his #44 car in 2005.
- Pizza Hut purchased the naming rights to Major League Soccer club FC Dallas' stadium, Pizza Hut Park, prior to its opening in 2005.
- In March 2007, Pizza Hut partnered with Verizon Wireless to offer a free LG mobile phone with the purchase of a Cheesy Bites Pizza.
- Pizza Hut is a sponsor of the Newcastle Vipers ice hockey team for the 2007/08 EIHL season in the UK.
- Pizza Hut is a sponsor of Children's Joy Foundation In The Philippines.
- Pizza Hut Japan sponsored the anime Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, with their mascot, Cheese-kun, making cameos throughout the series.
Book It!Pizza Hut has been a longtime sponsor of the "Book It!" program (started in 1984), which encourages reading in American and Australian schools. Those who read books according to the goal set by the classroom teacher are rewarded with Pizza Hut coupons good for a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza or discounted menu items. In the late 1980s, Pizza Hut threw free pizza parties for classes if all students met their reading goals. The program has been criticized by some psychologists on the grounds that it may lead to overjustification and reduce children's intrinsic interest in reading. However, a study of the Pizza Hut program, Book It!, found that participation in the program neither increased nor decreased reading motivation. The program's 25th anniversary was in 2009. Book It! in Australia ceased in 2002 when Pizza Hut in Australia was removing its dine-in stores as Australians opt for take away pizza instead of dine-in.
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