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Pizza Hut is looking at closing up to 500 older, lower-performing restaurants as the company seeks to focus more on its delivery services.

None of the local Pizza Huts are scheduled to close at this time.

"We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets," said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call to discuss second-quarter results. "This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth," as reported in the Food Business Network.

"During this transition, we expect a temporary deceleration in the pace of new unit development for the Pizza Hut division as continued healthy international unit growth will be partially offset by a short-term decline in the absolute number of U.S. units. As a result, our U.S. store count could drop to as low as 7,000 locations over the next 24 months, primarily driven by closures of underperforming dine-in restaurants before rebounding to current levels and above in the future."

Within the United States, about 6,100 Pizza Hut locations are traditional restaurants and 1,350 are express units, according to Yum! Brands, the corporate owner of Pizza Hut, as well as Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The Pizza Hut brand was created in 1958, when the Carney brothers borrowed $600 from their mother to start the first Pizza Hut, according to Yum! Brands website.

 

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