Wednesday, January 11, 2012
4189. Pizza Hut Mascot
Pizza Hut (corporately known as Pizza Hut, Inc.) is an American restaurant chain and international franchise that offers different styles of pizza along with side dishes including pasta, buffalo wings, breadsticks, and garlic bread.
Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world's largest restaurant company. According to its corporate website, there are more than 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, and more than 5,600 store locations in 94 other countries and territories around the world.
Pizza Hut is split into several different restaurant formats; the original family-style dine-in locations; store front delivery and carry-out locations; and hybrid locations that offer carry-out, delivery, and dine-in options. Many full-size Pizza Hut locations offer lunch buffet, with "all-you-can-eat" pizza, salad, bread sticks, and a special pasta. Additionally, Pizza Hut also has a number of other business concepts that are different from the store type; Pizza Hut "Bistro" locations are "Red Roof"s which offer an expanded menu and slightly more upscale options.
"Pizza Hut Express" and "The Hut" locations are fast food restaurants. They offer a limited menu with many products not found at traditional Pizza Huts. These type of stores are often paired in a colocated location with a sibling brand such as Wing Street, KFC or Taco Bell, and are also found on college campuses, food courts, theme parks, and in stores such as Target.
Vintage "Red Roof" locations can be found throughout the United States, and quite a few exist in the UK and Australia. Even so, many such locations offer delivery/carryout service. This building style was common in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The name "Red Roof" is somewhat anachronistic now, since many locations have brown roofs. Dozens of "Red Roofs" have closed or been relocated/rebuilt. Many "Red Roof" branches have beer if not a full bar, music from a jukebox, and sometimes an arcade. In the mid 1980s, the company moved into other successful formats including delivery/carryout and the fast food "Express" model.
The oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut in the world is in Manhattan, Kansas, in a shopping and tavern district known as Aggieville near Kansas State University.
Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas. When a friend suggested opening a pizza parlor, they agreed that the idea could prove successful, and they borrowed $600 from their mother to start a business with partner John Bender. Renting a small building at 503 South Bluff in downtown Wichita and purchasing secondhand equipment to make pizzas, the Carneys and Bender opened the first "Pizza Hut" restaurant; on opening night, they gave pizza away to encourage community interest. They chose the name "Pizza Hut" since the sign they purchased only had enough space for nine characters and spaces. Additional restaurants were opened, with the first franchise unit opening in 1959 in Topeka, Kansas. The original Pizza Hut building was later relocated to the Wichita State University campus.
Dan and Frank Carney soon decided that they needed to have a good standard image. The Carney brothers contacted Wichita architect Richard D. Burke, who designed the distinctive mansard roof shape and standardized layout, hoping to counter competition from Shakey's Pizza, a chain that was expanding on the west coast. The franchise network continued to grow through friends and business associates, and by 1964 a unique standardized building appearance and layout was established for franchised and company-owned stores, creating a universal look that customers easily recognized.
By 1972, with 314 stores nationwide, Pizza Hut went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker symbol NYSE: PIZ. In 1978, Pizza Hut was acquired by PepsiCo, who later also bought KFC and Taco Bell. In 1997, the three restaurant chains were spun off into Tricon, and in 2001 joined with Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants to become Yum! Brands.
The Pasta Bravo concept was acquired in 2003 from Pasta Bravo, Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif for $5 million to pair with Pizza Hut.