Pizza Hut will reportedly be closing down 500 or more dine-in restaurants in the next year, according to a new report. Per USA Today, the locations are likely being shut down due to an inability to compete with delivery and carryout options, which are most often preferred by consumers. David Gibbs, chief operating officer Yum! Brands — Pizza Hut's parent company — commented on the move.
“This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth." Essentially, Pizza Hut will moving to format more structured similar to competitor's like Domino's and Papa John's both of which prioritize delivery and carry out orders over dine-in experience. It’s hard to estimate how soon the timing of when a store will close and then when the replaced unit will open,” Gibbs explained. “There will be gaps on some of those, but certainly, our goal is to try to minimize those gaps.”
Per the Yum Brands website, there are 7,496 Pizza Hut locations in the United States, with 6,100 of those locations traditional dine-in restaurants, and 1,350 are express units. The plan currently, is to take Pizza Hut down to around 7,000 locations total over the next couple of years.
As many as 500 U.S. dine-in Pizza Hut restaurants are likely to close due to competing delivery and carryout orders, according to Food Business News. https://t.co/xhoolUhc6Y— USA TODAY Money (@USATODAYmoney) August 7, 2019
Following the news, many have taken to social media to comment on the closing Pizza Hut locations, with most expressing disappointment.
"So sad as a kid and even a teen — this was the place to go and hang Lost times," one person said.
In the 80's @pizzahut was a fun place to go. It had a comfortable pizza parlor feel as well as pinball and arcade machines. They were never the same after their more "industrial look" remodel. Could we try bringing the fun back before getting rid of the option to dine in?#pizza— Thomas E Rowe (@EVRMRCGR) August 7, 2019
"Uhhh, just read that around 500 [Pizza Hut] dine-in locations around the country are closing so they can focus on carry-out," news anchor Rex Smith tweeted. "Don't take away my sit-down pizza hut meals you meanies!!!!!"
"Dine-in Pizza Hut restaurants are SO my Dad’s brand. He is going to be devastated," another user wrote.
And there goes the punch in the gut of my childhood....— Ashvin Lad (@ashvinlad) August 7, 2019
"Hey [Pizza Hut], are you closing the one on Kester and Burbank Blvd? Hopefully not I’ve given you enough business to stay afloat," one last user joked.