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]