We Have Bad News If Pizza Hut Has Your Favorite Pizza
When I was a kid, going to Pizza Hut was a real treat. Typically, our fast food go-to was Burger King. But Pizza Hut? Pizza Hut meant that I either got a wonderful report card or read enough books to qualify for a Personal Pan Pizza.
That said, I haven’t actually visited a Pizza Hut in recent years. To be fair, I’ve rarely eaten pizza outside of my own home. Usually, it’s a pick-up or delivery situation. And it appears that I’m not alone.
Pizza Hut just announced that they’d be closing down over 500 dine-in locations across the country, meaning that the cost of running the dine-in area just wasn’t worth it anymore. Pizza Hut will still be around — but sitting in one might be a rarity.
Figuring out which locations to close has seemingly been simple. They’ve reportedly kept tabs on which restaurants have been underperforming.
According to David W. Gibbs, who’s the president, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, the closures will be beneficial to Pizza Hut. Gibbs believes that by cutting out some of the dining areas, the brand will grow faster. It all makes sense, but it’s still a huge blow to a lot of people’s childhoods.
Sure, other restaurants exist. But knowing that kids today will likely never have that feeling of accomplishment after being presented with a Personal Pan Pizza in an actual Pizza Hut is quite a bummer.
But, not everyone is sad about the news. Fans of Domino’s — arguably one of Pizza Hut’s biggest competitors — feel like it was about time.
“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,” Gibbs said on a business call, according to Food Business News. “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.”
Even though they’re pushing this news as a good thing, it still seems scary. Who knew that Pizza Hut might one day be hard to find?
Gibbs did say that eventually, the closed locations would reopen. “There will be gaps on some of those, but certainly, our goal is to try to minimize those gaps,” he stated.
So, in a way, it’s almost like Pizza Hut is getting a rebrand. The focus will mostly be on delivery and pick-up.
But, here’s the interesting thing. This is all coming from Yum! Brands.
Yum! Brands also includes KFC and Taco Bell, who are also reportedly focusing more on delivery. Who knows what that means for their physical locations in the future.
The good news is that KFC and Taco Bell just continue to grow. Their sales have reportedly been excellent, and part of that probably has something to do with the KFC Cheetos sandwich. (Okay, maybe not.)
The news makes you wonder what the fate of restaurants will be like in the near future. Today’s trends make it seem like people would rather just stay home.
When was the last time that you, yourself, sat in a McDonald’s? Or, enjoyed Wendy’s just a few feet away from where your burger was flipped?
Fingers crossed that Pizza Hut doesn’t accidentally sabotage themselves with this move. If a restaurant stays closed for too long, their customers may go elsewhere.
And, there’s no shortage of pizza delivery or take-out out there. Little Caesar’s made a pretty big comeback in the past few years, making it easier than ever for customers to grab a pre-made pie quickly.
All in all, it seems like a lot of work for Pizza Hut. But hopefully, their new vision will end up saving them a lot of money.
If dining in at a Pizza Hut is your thing, you might want to get some last-minute visits in, just in case your location is one of the unlucky ones that’ll be closing down.