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Pizza Hut
Type Wholly owned subsidiary
Founded Wichita, Kansas (1958)
Founder(s) Dan and Frank Carney
Headquarters Addison, Texas, United States
Key people David C Novak (Chairman)
Scott Bergren (President)
Industry Restaurants
Products Italian-American cuisine
pizza · pasta · desserts
Employees over 30,000
Parent PepsiCo (1977–1997)
Yum! Brands (1997–present)
Website Pizzahut.com
Pizza Hut store (with distinctive roof) in Athens, Ohio typical of U.S. Pizza Hut restaurants

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise based in Addison, Texas[1] (a northern suburb of Dallas), offering different styles of pizza along with side dishes including pasta, buffalo wings, breadsticks, and garlic bread. Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world's largest restaurant company,[2] with approximately 34,000 restaurants, delivery-carry out units, and kiosks in 100 countries.

Pizza Hut is relocating its headquarters to Legacy Office Park in nearby Plano when the lease on its current building, which it has occupied since 1995, expires at the end of 2010.[3][4] The company broke ground on its new headquarters building on February 25, 2010.[5]

Contents

Concept and format

Pizza Hut is split into several different restaurant formats; the original family-style dine-in locations ("Red Roofs"); store front delivery and carry-out locations ("Delcos"); and hybrid locations that offer carry-out, delivery, and dine-in options ("RBDs" or Restaurant Based Delivery units). Many full-size Pizza Hut locations offer lunch buffet, with "all-you-can-eat" pizza, salad, breadsticks, and a special pasta. Additionally, Pizza Hut also has a number of other business concepts that are different from the store type; Pizza Hut "Bistro" locations are Red Roofs which offer an expanded menu and slightly more upscale options.

Traditionally, Pizza Hut has been known for its ambiance as much as food offerings. Classic "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 have brown roofs. Dozens of these locations have closed or been relocated/rebuilt. In the 1980s, the company moved into other successful formats including delivery/carryout and the fast food "Express" model.

Finally, "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.

History

Former Pizza Hut logo (1969–1999)

The chain was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney. They chose the name "Pizza Hut" since the sign they purchased only had enough space for nine characters and spaces.[6] The Original Pizza Hut building was later relocated to the Wichita State University campus.[7] Additional restaurants were opened, with the first franchise unit opening in 1959 in Topeka, Kansas. At the same time Pizza Hut was growing in and around Kansas, Shakey's Pizza was developing a stronghold along the West Coast. The competition provided Pizza Hut the impetus to evaluate its mission and direction. Dan and Frank Carney saw Shakey's expanding into their territory and realized that they needed to determine if Pizza Hut should be in the entertainment business or if it should be a neighborhood pizza restaurant. They decided to stick with the neighborhood business and realized 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 the competition from Shakey's.[8] 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 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 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.

Products

Pizza Hut's prototype version of a restaurant (1950–1961). This was only used at four prototype Pizza Hut locations. There are only a few menu items on this version.
The plaque on the first Pizza Hut building which was sometimes seen on the box. It was shown from 1970 to 1985.

Pizza Hut sells pizzas in four different sizes: personal (individual serving), small, medium and large, though most stores have done away with the small size. A variety of toppings are available, plus "specialty" styles, including Meat Lovers, Pepperoni Lovers, Cheese Lovers, Veggie Lovers, Double Cheeseburger, Supreme, Super Supreme and the newly introduced Pizza Mia. The pan pizza has a thicker crust than most other commercially available pizzas.

Pizza Hut also sells Stuffed Crust pizza, with the outermost edge wrapped around a coil of mozzarella cheese; Hand-Tossed, more like traditional pizzeria 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.[9]

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[10], 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.

Buffalo wings

In addition to pizza, also sold is garlic cheese bread (not in all locations), plus a number of side dishes including bread sticks, cheese sticks, cinnamon sticks, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, chicken wings (some stores have integrated with another chain known as WingStreet which offers a wide variety, such as Buffalo Burning Hot, Buffalo Medium, Buffalo Mild, Honey BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Garlic Parmesan, Cajun, Spicy Asian)[11] boneless wings, chicken munchers, jalapeño poppers, Quepapas (potato bites filled with cheese and jalapeño flavor),[12] a basket of taters or tater tots and fried apple pies.[13]

Depending on the individual restaurant size, Pizza Huts also may offer pasta dinners such as spaghetti and Cavatini – a mixture of Cavatelli (shells), Rotini (spirals), and Rotelle (wheels).

A new, upscale concept was unveiled in 2004, called "Pizza Hut Italian Bistro". Unveiled at fifty locations nationwide, the Bistro is similar to a traditional Pizza Hut, except that new, Italian themed dishes are offered, such as penne pasta, chicken pomodoro, toasted sandwiches and other foods.[14] Instead of black, white, and red, Bistro locations feature a burgundy and tan motif.[15] 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 cooked and 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.[16]

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.[17] It has since launched a nationwide advertising campaign. Also in 2008, Pizza Hut created their biggest pizza ever, the Panormous Pizza. It has 16 pieces.

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.

Advertising

Old in-restaurant ad for Pizza Hut's Pan Pizza.
Pizza Hut ad featuring The Muppets (2003–2005).

Pizza Hut's very first ad was "Putt Putt to Pizza Hut". It starts with a man apparently ordering take-out and driving his 1965 Mustang JR to Pizza Hut, while some of the townspeople start chasing him. He picks up his pizza and goes to his house, when all of the people 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 is currently "Now You're Eating!". 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.[18]

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, and paid for their logo to appear on a Russian Proton rocket in 2000.[19]

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 now advertising its WingStreet brand on a nationwide basis, having met its internal requirement of 80% of stores having the product available (both corporate and franchised).

Advertisements

Pasta Hut

Pasta Hut logo (2008–present)

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've 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.[20] 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, but when they construct the new building, the sign saying "Pasta Hut" is placed on the building.

Australia

On January 19, 2009, Pizza Hut started a six-week online vote in Australia as to whether Pizza Hut should become Pasta Hut. They are also co-branding two stores with the Pasta Hut logo. Advertising for the new brand involved the production team creating a set of a restaurant called "Toscani's". As the TV suggests, the diners in the fictional restaurant, complete with signage and secret recording equipment; the customers were unaware they were eating pasta from Pizza Hut.[21]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom on January 19, 2009, Pizza Hut had 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. This was due to Pizza Hut's online poll, where the results showed that 81% had chosen to keep the name Pizza Hut, 19% chose to change the name to Pasta Hut. Consequently the name will change back, but the menus will continue to include pasta.[22]

Costa Rica

In 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.

Sponsorship

Book It!

Pizza Hut has been a longtime sponsor of the "Book It!" program (started in 1984[23]), which encourages reading in American schools. Those who read books according to the goal set by the classroom teacher are rewarded with Pizza Hut coupons good for a free 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.[24] However, a study of the Pizza Hut program, Book It!, found that participation in the program neither increased nor decreased reading motivation.[24] The program's 25th anniversary was in 2009.

Nutrition

In the UK, Pizza Hut has been criticized 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 (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, etc.) are, likewise, salty and fatty meats.[25] There have also been concerns raised over food production practices as due to the high level of frozen produce being used the end products are often cold & of poor quality, lacking nutritional value.

See also


References

  1. ^ "Town of Addison official website". http://www.addisontexas.net/where_to_stay/. 
  2. ^ "Yum Homepage". http://www.yum.com/company/ourbrands.asp. 
  3. ^ "Pizza Hut to move corporate offices to Plano". http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-pizzahut_17bus.ART.State.Edition1.3cf5ddc.html. 
  4. ^ "Pizza Hut studying move from Addison to Plano's Legacy Park". http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/collin/plano/stories/1117dnbusPizzaHut.2c19dd34e.html?ocp=1. 
  5. ^ "Pizza Hut breaks ground on new Plano headquarters". http://www.scntx.com/articles/2010/02/25/plano_star-courier/news/101.txt. 
  6. ^ "Pizza Hut web site - about the company". http://www.pizzahut.com/about/. 
  7. ^ "Original Pizza Hut - Wichita State University Campus Tour". http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=mark1&p=pizzahut. 
  8. ^ Wasson, Andrew. "Who Designed the Roof". Dairy River. http://www.dairyriver.com/wordpress/?page_id=172. 
  9. ^ "PizzaHut.com — Menu". http://www.pizzahut.com/Menu.aspx?tab=signatureCrusts. 
  10. ^ "Pizza Hut kicks off $15M Priazzo campaign". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_v19/ai_3818569/. 
  11. ^ "PizzaHut.com — Menu". http://www.pizzahut.com/Menu.aspx?tab=wingStreet. 
  12. ^ "PizzaHut.com — Menu". http://www.pizzahut.com/Menu.aspx?tab=appetizersAndSauces. 
  13. ^ "PizzaHut.com — Menu". http://www.pizzahut.com/Menu.aspx?tab=wingstreetsidesdips. 
  14. ^ "Pizza Hut licensee opens 'italian bistro' concept". April 4, 2005. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_14_39/ai_n13593323. 
  15. ^ Jean Le Boeuf (March 9, 2007). "Three tomatoes to a capable Pizza Hut 'Bistro'". http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070309/COLUMNISTS37/703090323/1061/ENT07. 
  16. ^ "Pizza Mia, Ingredient Statements" (PDF). http://www.pizzahut.com/Files/PDF/PizzaMiaNutritionFacts.pdf. 
  17. ^ "in.Reuters.com, Pizza Hut rolling out all-natural pizza". http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-33506420080510. 
  18. ^ "YouTube - Pizza Hut commercial with Back to the Future theme". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_EFGMyfYoc. 
  19. ^ "Pitching products in the final frontier". http://archives.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/06/13/alpha.products/. 
  20. ^ "Pizza Hut renaming itself Pasta Hut for April Fool's.". http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-pasta-hut-080401,0,600012.story. 
  21. ^ "Pizza Hut to become Pasta Hut". http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24932322-664,00.html. 
  22. ^ "Customers vote for Pizza Hut". Pizza Hut UK Ltd. http://www.pizzahut.co.uk/restaurants/news/customers-vote-for-pizza-hut.aspx. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  23. ^ "PizzaHut.com — Our Story". http://www.pizzahut.com/OurStory.aspx. 
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "BBC NEWS". October 18, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7050585.stm. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 

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