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Pan pizza is a thin or thick pizza baked in a deep dish pan. The bottoms and sides of the crust become fried and crispy in the oil used to coat the pan. Chicago and Detroit-style pizza may be considered a form of pan pizza. Pan pizza generally refers to the thin to thick style popularized by Pizza Hut in the 1960s.
Dan and Frank Carney opened a pizza parlor in Wichita, Kansas which would later become Pizza Hut. At first, the brothers focused on a thin crust pizza which included cheese, pepperoni and/or sausage. The pizza parlor franchised into Pizza Hut in 1959 and added a thicker crust pan pizza.
Other pizza companies also later included pan pizza. In 1989, Domino's Pizza introduced its deep dish or pan pizza. Its introduction followed market research showing that 40% of pizza customers preferred thick crusts. The new product launch cost approximately $25 million, of which $15 million was spent on new sheet metal pans with perforated bottoms.
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