Pizza Hut has been a staple for pizza lovers across the country since the late 1950s, with more than 18,000 franchise locations now in operation worldwide. The restaurant is known for signature dishes such as its pan pizza and its stuffed crust pizza.
In recent years, though, many locations have been closing their doors, leaving fans wondering: is Pizza Hut closing?
Like many dine-in restaurants, Pizza Hut has been facing financial challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the company shifts its focus to delivery and carry-out options they have been shuttering some of their less profitable dine-in locations, prompting rumors that Pizza Hut will soon be disappearing for good.
If you’re concerned about the rumors, you’re not alone. Plenty of Pizza Hut fans have been panicking at the thought of losing their favorite quick-and-easy pizza fix. Fortunately, I’m here to clear things up for you and discuss just what the future of Pizza Hut has in store.
So, is Pizza Hut Actually Closing?
Pizza lovers everywhere are in luck because the company isn’t planning to close its doors anytime soon.
While Pizza Hut didn’t escape the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many franchise locations managed to keep their heads above water by leaning on their curbside and takeout orders. Some restaurants also switched to outdoor dining to offset indoor dining restrictions in many states.
Even before the pandemic, Pizza Hut was shifting its focus to carry-out and delivery orders. In August 2019, the company announced plans to close around 500 restaurants across the United States by 2021.
By shuttering underperforming restaurants, the chain hoped to make improvements on its remaining 7,000-some locations.
This shift from sit-down dining toward carry-out has been long in the making for chains like Pizza Hut. As they compete against cheaper fast food and healthier local diners, many franchise restaurants began to work on cornering the carry-out market. The pandemic has only accelerated this shift.
However, in 2020, Pizza Hut was forced to announce the closure of a further 300 restaurants after franchise provider NPC International declared bankruptcy.
Though the company might be facing financial difficulties in light of the pandemic, they have no plans to close down in the U.S. or internationally.
Where Did These Rumors Come From?
With towns and cities across the U.S. losing their local Pizza Hut, it’s no wonder that fans are asking: is Pizza Hut closing?
Even before the pandemic, many smaller Pizza Hut locations were closing their doors and leaving town. Since 2019, the chain has made an effort to shutter underperforming dine-in locations.
As people watched their closest Pizza Hut disappear, rumors began to abound on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. With so many closures across the company, it was easy for people to believe the company was closing its doors for good.
As with most rumors, though, these tweets remain unverified. Pizza Hut has made no official announcements that they plan to close down as a company.
The only confirmed announcements from Pizza Hut and their partners have been regarding the closure of individual franchise operations. The company has plans to close or sell more than 1,000 locations.
Will It Close in the Future?
Pizza Hut has long been a household name for families across the country.
It’s been a go-to for both dine-in and delivery since its inception in the late 1950s. It can be hard to imagine a world where the company isn’t a top name in the pizza game.
Pizza Hut has been showing a steady decline in sales for the past couple of years, but this is largely due to the pandemic. Once restaurants start seeing business boom again, Pizza Hut can hopefully expect to see its profits rise alongside its competitors.
Even though many locations have closed their doors in the past few years, it’s unlikely that Pizza Hut will disappear anytime soon. The franchise still ranks among one of the top pizza joints in the country.
As Pizza Hut recoups its losses, there’s a chance it may even be able to reopen locations or add new restaurants to its roster.
Other Restaurant Closings
Pizza Hut isn’t the only chain that’s suffered losses during the pandemic.
One of its largest competitors, Domino’s, has also been struggling financially in the past few years. In 2020, the company was forced to close around 1,400 locations worldwide. Papa John’s, another competing franchise, has also been closing down locations to cope with losses.
Chuck E Cheese has also faced rumors, with the popular children’s arcade and pizzeria hurt further by the pandemic.
Not all restaurants have seen a downturn since COVID-19 lockdowns, though.
Popular pizza chains such as Marco’s that focus solely on carry-out and delivery have seen booming sales in the past couple of years. In fact, the chain has been opening a new store every two and a half days on average this year.
As it continues to shift its focus away from dine-in options, Pizza Hut may start to see some of the same gains that competitors such as Marco’s have enjoyed in recent years.
If you’ve seen a Pizza Hut near you shutting its doors for good, you may be wondering: is Pizza Hut closing?
Despite what the rumors may say, Pizza Hut isn’t going away anytime soon. Though the company plans to shutter a large portion of its restaurants, those it keeps open are due for an upgrade.
You can expect to see Pizza Hut placing less of its focus on dine-in options in the coming years. Instead, you can look forward to plenty of delivery and carry-out options for individuals, families, and party-sized groups.
Check out Pizza Hut’s most popular pizzas since they’re remaining open!