Pizza Hut has turned 62 today. Let’s have a look at the story of Pizza Hut which has spanned over 6 decades.
Pizza Hut is the world’s largest pizza company in terms of branch count and market share percentage. As of 2018, it has over 16,796 restaurants and distribution outlets worldwide. Pizza Hut is a division of Yum! Brands Inc., which is one of the restaurant companies worldwide. The popular pizza chain is also known for its menu of Italian-American cuisine.
Brothers Frank and Dan Carney founded Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958. A friend came up with the idea of opening a pizza parlor. Both agreed that the idea could be feasible and profitable, so they decided to borrow six hundred dollars from their mom to start their pizza company with their partner John Bender.
They rented a small building in downtown Wichita at 503 South Bluff and purchased second-hand equipment to make their pizzas. In 1958, the very first Pizza Hut restaurant was opened by Bender and The Carney Brothers. And they gave away free pizzas for their opening night to get the attention of the public. Pizza Hut was incorporated into Kansas after a year, and a man named Dick Hassur franchised, opening the first Pizza Hut in Topeka, Kansas.
During 1966 the number of franchise units in Pizza Hut had grown to a total of 145. They also set up a home office in Wichita during the same year to coordinate the business. Two years later, they opened the first international Pizza Hut franchise in Canada, followed by the formation of the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, or also known as IPHFHA. The goal of the association was to acquire forty percent of the franchise operations of the company or 120 stores and add them to the six outlets that Pizza Hut owned in full.
In 1970 Pizza Hut opened several branches in Munich, Germany, and Sydney, Australia. And they also opened the 500th Pizza Hut store in Nashville, Tennessee the same year. And by 1971, the restaurant was the largest pizza chain in the world in terms of sales and restaurant count. A year later, Pizza Hut was awarded a listing on the New York Stock Exchange and they also achieved a sales week of one million dollars on the US market.
In 1977, Pizza Hut merged with PepsiCo and became a division of the global food and soft drink conglomerates. And that year, the sales of Pizza Hut reached a whopping $436 million and opened a headquarters worth ten million dollars in Wichita.
But new competitors appeared during the 1980s and it threatened the status of Pizza Hut as the number one in the pizza restaurant market. Tight and fierce competitors such as Domino’s Pizza, Little Ceasar’s, and Pizza Express have all fought for the spot with Pizza Hut.
PepsiCo combined all its restaurant businesses including the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell in the 1990s. It meant that a single senior manager would handle all of the office activities such as payroll, accounts payable, and data processing. And in 1997, PepsiCo announced that its restaurant division would have an independent publicly-traded company called Trico Global Restaurants, Inc., and it is now called the Yum! Brands, Inc. today.
Pizza Hut had a rebrand in 2014 to increase its sales which dropped in the last two years. They expanded their menu which included various items, including eleven new specialty pizzas and flavors of crust. They also changed the look of the uniforms for their employee. And in 2017, on the list of 200 Most Influential Brands in the World, Pizza Hut was listed in the number 24 spot.
Devyani International Limited, an F&B major that owns and operates Pizza Hut, KFC, Vaango, and Costa Coffee chain throughout India, Nepal, and Nigeria with more than 300 outlets present. Devyani International Limited is part of RJ Corp, which has a stake in Pepsi (India, Nepal, Srilanka, Mozambique, and Morocco) Beer(India, Nepal, Mauritius), Milk (Uganda) Cream Bell Ice Cream, Stem-cell Banking, and Education. On 18 June 1996, Pizza Hut started its first outlet in India, in Bangalore.
We wish Pizza Hut will keep serving us more amazing food and will add on to Story.