Pizza Hut was a national pizza chain before there were national pizza chains. They were at one time, the largest pizza franchise in the world.
After 40 years of being America’s dominant pizza brand, Pizza Hut officially lost the lead to Dominos in 2018. In 2019 Pizza Hut announced it was shutting down 500 of their 7,500 locations.
In July 2020 their largest US franchisee, MPC International, filed for bankruptcy. This franchise alone was responsible for 20% of Pizza Hut’s operations.
The entire history of the rise and fall of Pizza Hut is documented in this video of Company Man:
Sad, but true. According to Restaurant Business, Pizza Hut’s overall year-over-year sales fell 2.2% in 2020. Meanwhile, its biggest competitors, Domino’s and Papa John’s, had net gains of 17.6% and 15.9%, respectively.
Pizza Hut’s declining sales were due in large part to the pandemic, which closed hundreds of locations across the country. The chain’s largest franchisee also declared bankruptcy, which caused the company to lock the doors, shutter 300 locations, and offer up another 927 locations for sale.
Pizza Hut was once known as a fast-casual dine-in pizza place with white and red checkerboard tablecloths. Fast-forward to 2021, and consumers don’t want dine-in pizza, they want to take it home…