Pizza Hut is an American multinational restaurant chain and international franchise. They serve their signature pan pizza and other dishes including pasta, breadsticks and desserts.
It is the largest pizza restaurant company in the world in terms of both the number of outlets and the percentage of market share that it holds. A subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., the company oversees more than 11,000 pizza restaurants and delivery outlets in 90 countries worldwide.
The international restaurant chain Pizza Hut, Inc., was founded in Wichita, Kansas, by brothers Dan and Frank Carney, students at Wichita State University. With $600 borrowed from their mother, the young men opened a small pizzeria at a busy Wichita intersection on June 15, 1958. They mixed dough in a plastic baby bathtub and gave away pizza slices to attract customers. A family member remarked that their little building looked like a hut, and the name Pizza Hut was born.
A year later, in 1959, Pizza Hut was incorporated in Kansas, and Dick Hassur opened the first franchise unit in Topeka, Kansas.
In the early 1960s Pizza Hut grew on the strength of aggressive marketing of the pizza restaurant idea.
In 1962, the Carney brothers bought out the interest held by Bender, and Robert Chisholm joined the company as treasurer.
Pizza Hut’s first television commercial was produced in 1965 by Bob Walterscheidt for the Harry Crow agency in Wichita, and was entitled “Putt-Putt to the Pizza Hut”.
In 1966, when the number of Pizza Hut franchise units had grown to 145, a home office was established to coordinate the businesses from Wichita.
The iconic Pizza Hut building style was designed in 1963 by Chicago architect George Lindstrom and was implemented in 1969.
Pizza Hut merged with PepsiCo in 1977 and became a division of global soft drink and food conglomerate. And on that year, Pizza Hut’s sales reached a whopping 436 million dollars and they opened a ten million dollars’ worth headquarters in Wichita.
But during the 1980s, new competitors appeared and it challenged Pizza Hut’s position as the number one in the pizza restaurant business. Tight and fierce competitors like Domino’s Pizza, Little Ceasar’s and Pizza Express all fought with Pizza Hut for the spot.
To step up their game, Pizza Hut introduced the “Pan Pizza” in 1983. It offers the customers a five-minute guarantee where all their single-serving pizzas would arrive fast and steaming hot.
Both founders left the company (Dan Carney in 1974, Frank in 1980), but PepsiCo retained Pizza Hut’s corporate offices in Wichita until 1995, when operations were shifted to Dallas, Texas. Two years later, PepsiCo spun off Pizza Hut and its two other restaurant holdings. As a division of Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., of Louisville, Kentucky, Pizza Hut, Inc., entered the twenty-first century with more than 10,000 restaurants, 3,000 of them in eighty-six foreign countries.
Throughout the 90s, as competition increased, Pizza Hut would introduce a wide variety of products. Some were extremely successful, such as the stuffed crust pizza, while others were not, such as the ill-fated Priazzo.
In 1997, former Soviet Union leader Gorbachev starred in a Pizza Hut commercial with his granddaughter Anastasia Virganskaya to raise money for the Perestroyka Archives.
Until early 2007, Pizza Hut’s main advertising slogan was “Gather ’round the good stuff”. From 2008 to 2009, the advertising slogan was “Now You’re Eating!”. From 2009 to 2012, the advertising slogan was “Your Favorites. Your Pizza Hut” From 2012 to 2016, the advertising slogan was “Make it great”, a variation of the 1987–1995 slogan “Makin’ it great!”. From 1995 to 1999, the slogan was “You’ll love the stuff we’re made of”. The advertising slogan is currently “No one outpizzas the hut”.
On April 1, 2008, Pizza Hut in America sent emails to customers advertising their pasta items. 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 on April Fools’ Day, extending through the month of April, with the company’s Dallas headquarters changing its exterior logo to Pasta Hut.
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 River was opened in Athens, Ohio, in 1966 by Lawrence Berberick and Gary Meyers.
The highest altitude pizza delivery on land is 5,897 m (19,347 ft) and was achieved by Pizza Hut Africa (South Africa) and Yum! Brands (USA) at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, between 5-8 May 2016. This record-breaking delivery was undertaken to mark the launch of Tanzania’s first Pizza Hut. With the opening of the Tanzanian branch, Pizza Hut now has a restaurant in 100 countries.
The earliest video game pizza delivery system appeared in EverQuest ll. In February 2005, game developers added a pizza delivery system for its players. By typing /pizza, players would be linked directly to the Pizza Hut ordering site. This was the first time that an MMORPG could accept orders for real world items.