Pizza Hut Is Losing Sales In U.S., Doing Awesome Everywhere Else

Have Americans finally had enough cheese-stuffed crusts? That could be. We just aren’t flocking to Pizza Hut restaurants like we used to in past decades. Instead, competing chains like Papa John’s and Little Caesar’s are munching on slices of what used to be the Hut’s business.

Right now, Pizza Hut is interested in expanding in China. Yep, China: there, the chain is a medium-fancy sit-down restaurant, not a take-out place. If you remember the ’80s, you might remember when all Pizza Huts had red hat-shaped roofs and trapezoidal windows, and the whole family would get table service, including the occasional personal pan pizza for elementary school students who read a certain number of books. We don’t know whether they exported the ruby-red plastic tumblers to China, but the chain is doing pretty well there, expanding to 1,134 restaurants. Sales are increasing.

Is the chain focusing too much on their expansion in China at the expense of its U.S. business? No, a Yum Brands spokesperson told Bloomberg Businessweek: “As we’ve matured around the world, we’ve developed dedicated resources to handle that growth without wavering on our commitments to our business here.” For example, they apparently have a large staff dedicated to coming up with increasingly more insane stuffed-crust pizzas for international markets.

Pizza Hut is my favorite chain pizzeria, but the shift to more take-out shops in strip malls and fewer standalone restaurants in this country is a positive development, since it means more UTBAPHs.

Pizza Hut Is Having Some Problems in America [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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  1. Mokona512 says:

    Their pizza has become really overpriced, and their crust has gone down hill. If they want to sell more, then lower the price and bring back the old crust model.

  2. Psylent1 says:

    Also, someone should remind them that sometimes a single person likes to have pizza. All their deals and sales are for groups of people.

    They need some menu items just for one.

  3. CzarChasm says:

    When I was a kid it was only pizza hut and papa genos. I would expect that now that there are a lot more chain restaurants out there, it’s got to be tougher to keep business up. People are just going to like different things.

  4. sylphon says:

    Pizza hut needs to realize that their local stores are not maintaining any sort of quality control. Plus their pizza these days just is horrible, especially at huts in GA. A pizza place can’t exist on sides and desserts and those are almost the only things semi-standardized and even those all taste the same.

    • Psylent1 says:

      This is a good point too. Our local Mazzio’s shut down last year.

      When it first opened, it was the best pizza I have ever ate and it was good every time you ordered.

      Then about 6 months later a new manager took over, fired everybody working there, brought in his own people and the pizza was crap after that. Everything they made was just dripping with grease, they couldn’t get your order right and delivery took forever.

      Maybe this new Mc Donalds ruling will make the franchise fast food companies pay a little more attention to their franchise stores.

  5. furiousd says:

    There were several Pizza Hut locations in Sri Lanka that were fun to go to on occasion, though the local flavors were a bit interesting. Chicken biryani and rice on a pizza? Not my idea of a good idea…

  6. GnRJosh says:

    I think part of the problem is the inconsistency of franchised stores. Case in point, Pizza Hut released an Ultimate Cheese Lovers pizza that substituted their regular sauce with an alfredo sauce. My kids LOVE the so-called “white pizza” that has this as a sauce so when it was announced, I couldn’t wait to order one……..only to find out that none of the stores within 10 miles of our house offered this. Right on the website, for the Cheese Lover’s pizza, it stated quite plainly “with traditional sauce”. When I’d click on the advertisement on the main page that is supposed to take you to the customization portion of the order screen, it’d just throw back a message asking me to choose Pick Up or Delivery. I eventually relented and called the store, only to find out they don’t offer the pizza. Broadening my search, I finally found one that offered this mythical pizza, only for it to be 14 miles away. This issue is also mirrored with their Hut Lover’s Deals. I get 20% off and Free Sides coupons all the time, but whenever I try to actually redeem one, I get a “Deal not valid at this location” error. Again, the only store I can find that will take it is the one 14 miles away. Turns out, all the stores near my house are owned by the same franchisee and they don’t want anything to do with it. Apparently even the paper coupons are no good at their stores. I love their pan pizza more than any other pizza chain’s, but I refuse to patronize them because of this.