Pizza Hut

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Pizza Hut
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1958; 57 years ago (1958)
Wichita, Kansas
Founders Dan Carney
Frank Carney
Headquarters 7100 Corporate Drive
Plano, TX 75024, U.S.[1]
Number of locations
11,139 worldwide (as of 2012)
Products Italian-American cuisine
pizza · pasta · Buffalo Wings
Number of employees
Parent PepsiCo (1977–97)
Yum! Brands (1997–present)
Slogan Flavor of Now

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise, known for pizza and side dishes. It is now corporately known as Pizza Hut, Inc. and is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world's largest restaurant company.[2][3]

In 2015, the company had more than 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, and 5,139 store locations in 94 other countries and territories worldwide. Pizza Hut has a total of 11,139 branches worldwide.[4]


The original Pizza Hut building, opened on June 15, 1958 at the corner of Kellogg and Bluff by brothers Frank and Dan Carney, both students at Wichita State University. This photo is from 2004, after the building had been moved to the campus.

Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by two Wichita State University students, Dan and Frank Carney, as a single location in Wichita, Kansas.[5] Before closing in 2015, the oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut was in Manhattan, Kansas, in a shopping and tavern district known as Aggieville near Kansas State University. The first Pizza Hut restaurant east of the Mississippi was opened in Athens, Ohio in 1966 by Lawrence Berberick and Gary Meyers.

Pizza Hut's international presence includes Canada and Mexico in North America, India,[6][7] Bangladesh,[8][9] Pakistan, United Kingdom, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador[10] Nicaragua, and its Asian presence includes The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Pizza Hut was one of the first American franchises to open in Iraq.[11]

The company announced a rebrand to begin on November 19, 2014. The rebrand is the result of an effort to increase sales, which dropped in the previous two years. The menu will be expanded to introduce various items such as crust flavors and eleven new specialty pies. Work uniforms for employees were also refreshed.[12]


In China, Pizza Hut (simplified Chinese: 必胜客; traditional Chinese: 必勝客; pinyin: Bìshèng Kè) used an altered business model, offering a fine dining atmosphere with knives and forks and using an expanded menu catering to Chinese tastes.[13] By 2008 Pizza Hut operated restaurants and delivery locations. That year the company introduced "Pizza Hut Express", opening locations in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou.[14] There were a total of 160 restaurants in 40 Chinese cities in 2005.[15] As of 2014 Pizza Hut had over 1,300 restaurants in Mainland China.[13]

Savio S. Chan (陳少宏, Pinyin: Chén Shàohóng) and Michael Zakkour, authors of China's Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them, stated that middle class Chinese perceive Pizza Hut as "akin to fine dining" even though Pizza Hut was "China's largest and most successful foreign casual dining chain".[13] In 2014 Jamie Fullerton of Vice stated that he disliked Pizza Hut's unique to China menu items.[16]


Athens, Ohio: distinctive roof and older white sign used before 1999, typical of U.S. Pizza Hut restaurants

Pizza Hut is split into several different restaurant formats; the original family-style dine-in locations; store front delivery and carry-out locations; and hybrid locations that have carry-out, delivery, and dine-in options. Some full-size Pizza Hut locations have a lunch buffet, with "all-you-can-eat" pizza, salad, bread sticks, and a pasta bar. Pizza Hut has a number of other business concepts that are different from the store type; Pizza Hut "Bistro" locations are "Red Roofs" which have an expanded menu and slightly more upscale options.

An upscale concept was unveiled in 2004, called "Pizza Hut Italian Bistro". At 50 US locations, the Bistro is similar to a traditional Pizza Hut, except that new, Italian-themed dishes are on the menu, such as penne pasta, chicken pomodoro, toasted sandwiches and other foods.[17] Instead of black, white, and red, Bistro locations feature a burgundy and tan motif.[18] 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. "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 WingStreet, KFC or Taco Bell, and are found on college campuses, food courts, theme parks, bowling alleys, and in stores such as Target.

Vintage "Red Roof" locations, designed by architect Richard D. Burke, can be found in the United States and Canada; several exist in the UK, Australia, and Mexico. In his book Orange Roofs, Golden Arches, Phillip Langdon wrote that the Pizza Hut "Red Roof" architecture "is something of a strange object – considered outside the realm of significant architecture, yet swiftly reflecting shifts in popular taste and unquestionably making an impact on daily life. These buildings rarely show up in architectural journals, yet they have become some of the most numerous and conspicuous in the United States today."[19] reports, "Despite Pizza Hut's decision to discontinue the form when they made the shift toward delivery, there were still 6,304 'traditional units' standing as of 2004, each with the shingled roofs and trapezoidal windows signifying equal parts suburban comfort and strip-mall anomie." This building style was common in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The name "Red Roof" is somewhat anachronistic now, since many locations have brown roofs. Dozens of "Red Roofs" have closed or been relocated or rebuilt.[20]

Many "Red Roof" branches have beer if not a full bar, music from a jukebox, and sometimes an arcade. In the mid 1980s, the company moved into other successful formats including delivery or carryout and the fast food "Express" model.

Pizza Hut concepts
Pizza Hut Bistro in Indianapolis, Indiana 
Pizza Hut in Islamabad, Pakistan 
Pizza Hut in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Pizza Hut in Santiago, Chile 
Pizza Hut in Angeles City, Philippines 


Pizza Hut experiments with new products, discontinuing less successful ones. In North America, Pizza Hut has notably sold these: "Stuffed crust" pizza, with the outermost edge wrapped around a cylinder of mozzarella cheese; "Hand-Tossed", more like traditional pizzeria crusts; Thin 'N Crispy, a thin, crisp 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 its largest product, the Bigfoot pizza.

The Stuffed Crust pizza was introduced in March 26, 1995. By the end of the year it had become one of their most popular lines.[21]

There are regional differences in the products and bases sold.[22] The company has localized to Southeast Asia with a baked rice dish called Curry Zazzle.[23][24]

On May 9, 2008, Pizza Hut created and sold in Seattle, Denver, and Dallas, "The Natural", featuring natural ingredients. This was discontinued on October 27, 2009 in the Dallas market.[25]

Pizza Hut developed a pizza for use as space food, which was delivered to the International Space Station in 2001.[26] It was vacuum sealed and about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter to fit in the Station's oven.[26] It was launched on a Soyuz and successfully eaten by Yuri Usachov in orbit.[27]

In recent years the chain has seen a down turn in profits. It was stated in 2015 that the franchise would be pumping more capital into their London branches. Pizza Hut is installing cocktail bars in its London branches as part of a £60 million bid to win back "the Nando's generation".[28]


The original Pizza Hut logo, used from 1958 until 1967
Logo from 1967 to 1999 (still in use at some older locations), inspired by the Red Roof building

United States[edit]

Pizza Hut's very first ad in 1965 was "Putt Putt to the Pizza Hut". It shows a man in a suit and tie apparently ordering take-out and driving his 1965 Mustang JR to Pizza Hut, and it got chased by townspeople. He picks up his pizza and goes back to his house, when all of the townspeople who were chasing him start eating all the pizza except the man who ordered it. Frustrated, he calls Pizza Hut again.

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. From 2009 to 2012, the advertising slogan was "Your Favorites. Your Pizza Hut." The advertising slogan is currently "Make it great," an updated version of the original "Makin' it great" slogan that was used from 1987 to 1993. 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 during the late-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". Adding to the impact of these advertisements, the role of Dougie was played by famous Australian soap opera and police drama actor Diarmid Heidenreich.

Pizza Hut sponsored the film Back to the Future Part II (1989), 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.[29]

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 (the first ever console video game with product placement) and pizza that would refill the character's life.

In 1994, Donald Trump and ex-wife Ivana Trump featured 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 appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial which also featured The Monkees. A commercial with Rush Limbaugh dates from the same year, in which 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.

In 1999, the announcer says, "The best pizzas under one roof" in the Big New Yorker pizza commercial seen on the PlayStation Pizza Hut Demo Disc 1. Also in 1999, the game Crazy Taxi for Sega Dreamcast featured Pizza Hut as one of the locations that players were able to drive to and drop off customers. However, in the 2010 re-release of the game for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, all of the product placement, including the Pizza Hut locations were removed.[30]

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.

United Kingdom[edit]

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" due to his Rhotacism.

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 Germany. 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.

Pizza Hut paid for their logo to appear on a Russian Proton rocket in 2000, which launched the Russian Zvezda module.[31]

Pasta Hut[edit]

On April 1, 2008, Pizza Hut in America sent emails 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!"[32] 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.[33] 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.


Book It![edit]

Pizza delivery moped in Hong Kong

Pizza Hut has been a sponsor of the Book It! reading incentive program since it started in 1985.[35] Students who read books according to the goal set by the classroom teacher, in any given month from October through March, are rewarded with a Pizza Hut certificate good for one free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza; and the classroom whose students read the most books is rewarded with a pizza party sponsored by Pizza Hut. 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.[36] Book It! was also criticised by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) in 2007 who described it as "one of corporate America's most insidious school-based brand promotions." A pamphlet produced by the group argued that the program promoted junk food to a captive market, made teachers into promoters for Pizza Hut and undermined parents by making visits to the chain an integral part of bringing up their children to be literate.[37] However, a study of the program found that participation in the program neither increased nor decreased reading motivation.[36] The program's 25th anniversary was in 2010. The Book It! program in Australia ceased in 2002 when Pizza Hut in Australia was removing its dine-in stores as Australians opted for take away pizza instead of dine-in.[citation needed]


In the United Kingdom, Pizza Hut was criticized in October 2007 for the high salt content of its meals, some of which were found to contain more than twice the daily recommended amount of salt for an adult. The meats that consumers demand for pizza toppings (ham, sausage, bacon, etc.) are, likewise, salty and fatty meats.[38]

To meet the Food Standards Agency 2010 target for salt levels in foods, between 2008–10 the company removed over 15% of salt across its menu.[39]

In 2010, Pizza Hut was criticized 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.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Inside Pizza Hut's new headquarters in Plano". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Our Brands". Yum ! Homepage. 
  3. ^ Giammona, Craig (10 June 2015). "Pizza Hut debuts hot-dog pizza". Yahoo. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "About Us : Top Pizza Franchise : Pizza Restaurant Franchise". Pizza Hut Franchise. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  5. ^ "History of Pizza Hut". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Yum! Brands – Defining Global Company that Feeds the World". Yum!. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  7. ^ "Pizza Hut to double outlets in India by 2015". Business Today. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  8. ^ "Bangladesh Monitor". Bangladesh Monitor. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  9. ^ "Transcom FoodsLtd.". Transcom Group. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  10. ^ (Spanish) El Comercio. Pizza Hut le apuesta ahora a la velocidad. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "Events | Consulate General of the United States Erbil, Iraq". Consulate General of the United States Erbil, Iraq. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  12. ^ Candice Choi, Associated Press (November 10, 2014). "Pizza Hut's revamp: Curry crusts, balsamic drizzle". Detroit News. 
  13. ^ a b c Chan, Savio and Michael Zakkour. China's Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Online: p. 96. ISBN 1118834747, 9781118834749. – print: ISBN 978-1-118-83474-9 p. 162. ("The Great Pizza Wars: In China, Everything Is Possible, but Nothing Is Easy", start p. 96, in Chapter 12: The China Market + The China Global Demographic = China's Super Consumers)
  14. ^ "Pizza Hut Express enters China market" (Archive). Shenzhen Daily. March 3, 2008. Retrieved on May 26, 2015.
  15. ^ "Pizza Hut accelerates expansion in China" (Archive). Xinhua at China Daily. February 14, 2005. Retrieved on May 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Fullerton, Jamie. "China's Versions of Pizza Hut and McDonald's Are Utterly Disgusting" (Archive). Vice. January 31, 2014. Retrieved on May 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "Pizza Hut licensee opens 'Italian bistro' concept". Nation's Restaurant News. April 4, 2005. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. 
  18. ^ Jean Le Boeuf (March 9, 2007). "Three tomatoes to a capable Pizza Hut 'Bistro'". Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. 
  19. ^ Orange Roofs, Golden Arches: The Architecture of American Chain Restaurants By Phillip Langdon. Pp. 99, 189. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.
  20. ^ Peterson, Spencer (2 January 2014). "This Transnational Survey of Old Pizza Huts is So Satisfying". Curbed National. 
  21. ^ Venessa Wong. "Did Pizza Hut Really Invent the Stuffed Crust Pizza?". 
  22. ^ [1] Archived May 2, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Delicious Pizza Hut Parchment Pasta". Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  24. ^ "Baked Rice". Archived from the original on January 2, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Pizza Hut rolling out all-natural pizza". May 10, 2008. 
  26. ^ a b "Pizza Hut Becomes First Company In History To Deliver Pizza To Residents Living In Outer Space". 
  27. ^ "BBC News – AMERICAS – Pizza sets new delivery record". 
  28. ^ "Cocktail bars installed in revamp of London branches of Pizza Hut". The Evening Standard. 
  29. ^ "Pizza Hut commercial with Back to the Future theme". YouTube. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  30. ^ "No Pizza Hut, Tower Records Or KFC In Crazy Taxi". siliconera. June 21, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Pitching products in the final frontier". CNN. June 13, 2001. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Pasta Hut Is The New Name For Pizza Hut". Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  33. ^ "Pizza Hut renaming itself Pasta Hut for April Fool's.". Chicago Tribune. 
  34. ^ "Pizza Hut serves up Dallas sports partnership - Sports Sponsorship news - BasketballIce Hockey North America". SportsPro Media. 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  35. ^ "Pizza Hut Newsroom: Pizza Hut® Book It!® Literacy Program Launches Website To 'Spark Your Greatness' Through Summer Reading". June 26, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  36. ^ a b Flora, S. R., & Flora, D. B. (1999). Effects of extrinsic reinforcement for reading during childhood on reported reading habits of college students. Psychological Record, 49, 3–14.
  37. ^ "Pizza for Reading: Pizza Hut's "Book It!"". Mental Floss. 
  38. ^ "Fast food salt levels 'shocking'". BBC News. October 18, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Pizza Hut FSA Commitments 2010/2011" (PDF). Food Standards Agency. 
  40. ^ "PULPING the PLAN e t h o w S I" (PDF). Greenpeace. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]