Known for the iconic red roof, it's hard to miss this pizza restaurant when you drive by. If you love Pizza Hut, the world's largest pizza chain, and some of their menu items like their signature mozzarella stuffed crust pizza, chicken wings, and pasta, it turns out this pizza company had a humble beginning. Let's learn about Pizza Hut's history!
The history of Pizza Hut dates back to 1958 in Wichita, Kansas with two college-aged brothers Dan and Frank Carney. The Carney brothers were both Wichita State University students who decided to open up a pizza parlor after a friend suggested them to do so. After borrowing $600 dollars from their mother to open up a pizza restaurant near Wichita State University, the brothers quickly got the hang of having a food service business. They decided to name their restaurant Pizza Hut since their sign only had room for eight letters. And that's how the first Pizza Hut restaurant was born!
Even though the Carney brothers had zero restaurant experience, they opened up a second location six months later and within a year there were six more Pizza Hut restaurants in North America. Let's just say business was booming!
Dan and Frank Carney began franchising in 1959 and the first franchise opened in Topeka followed by another in Aggieville, Kansas, which became one of the first fast food restaurants to offer delivery to customers.
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In 1977, the Carney brothers sold the business to PepsiCo, and over the years, new menu items were introduced to customers to keep them coming back. A new addition like "Personal Pan Pizza" became a customer favorite due to it being affordable, fast and the perfect size for lunchtime.
With over 18,000 locations worldwide, there are several different spinoffs of the original Pizza Hut, which was a family-style dine-in location. Some offer carryout and pizza delivery while other Pizza Hut locations have a lunch buffet with all you can eat pizza, salad, pasta and desserts. There are also smaller storefront locations called Pizza Hut Express, that only sell food items from a limited menu.
An upscale restaurant concept was introduced in 2004 called Pizza Hut Bistro which features more Italian-styled dishes and also has a different design from the traditional Pizza Hut restaurants.
Whether it's your first time visiting a Pizza Hut, you've gotten your hands on free pizza or some of your best childhood memories took place at one of their locations, there's no doubt Pizza Hut is truly an iconic restaurant company.