Have you ever stopped and thought about the history of your favourite pizza fast food chain? Yes, we’re talking about the American success story of Pizza Hut. For a restaurant that started with some rather meagre beginnings, it sure has come a long way. Here in the UK, Pizza Hut first opened its doors more than 40 years ago and now employs 8,000 people in the UK alone. So how did one of today’s most popular pizza restaurants come to be? Let’s take a look.
A Success Story is Born
Pizza Hut got its start back in 1958 and was founded by two brothers – Frank and Dan Carney in Wichita, Kansas, US. The brothers decided to open a franchise that would specialise in Italian-American cuisine, in particular pasta and pizza. The brothers were university students when they first opened their very first location in Wichita. Today franchises can be found in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, and many other areas of the globe.
In 2014, the company went through a pretty massive re-branding effort. The goal was to increase the sales that had been slowly declining. Part of the re-branding effort was to change up the uniforms, introduce new menu items, and even build cocktail bars in the restaurant’s London locations. Earlier this year the chain was listed as number 24 of 200 in the Richtopia list of the Most Influential Brands in the World.
Pizza Hut Through the Years
Pizza Hut has gone through various changes and expansions over the years, and has even been featured in a variety of very unique marketing campaigns. Some of the little known facts about the chain include the fact they really started the whole pan pizza trend. Today pan pizzas are available from various chains, but it was Pizza Hut that made it mainstream.
They were also the ones that introduced stuffed crust pizza back in 1995, a product that remains one of their best sellers even today.
Then there was the fact that even though the Carney brothers only opened that first initial restaurant, franchising became almost instant with other locations popping up throughout the US.
Many people remember the iconic red roof that was found at Pizza Hut locations. This actually began in 1969 after the chain had already been around for a decade. Today the chain has moved past the red roof, although it can still be found in some locations in the US and Canada.
If you happened to be around in the 1970s, then you may also remember the Pizza Hut easy bake ovens that allowed kids to bake their very own fresh hot pizza at home. The oven was even shaped like the iconic restaurant, complete with the red roof.
The Story Continues
Considering just how large this franchise is and how many countries it can be found in across the globe today, it’s clear this is a success story that will continue for many, many years to come.