Was it the buy-out by Pepsi that ruined Pizza Hut, or was it something else?
To me they jumped the shark in the early 90's
I worked for pizza hut as a teenager (hey it was the only way to afford my pizza habit at the time) during the late 80's and early 90's.
They started going downhill with the introduction of the "Hand Tossed" pizza. I had already been working there for a few years and was told I needed to change the way I thought about pizza hut pizza because the new "Hand Tossed" was going to put pizza hut over the top.
I attended our restaurants first "class" on the new pizza. I actually was excited because I had always wanted to learn how to throw the dough like the guys at the local Pizzeria where I grew up as a kid. Well the new "Hand Tossed" pizza wasn't hand tossed. I was instructed to "Hand Stretch" the dough before it was placed and a thin baking tray and then put into the proofer so the dough could rise. Once risen the dough was placed in the cooler for use as needed. At least back then we made all the dough fresh every day.
One thing that really irked me was the topping structure. The customer was so ripped off I usually informed them that they would get more topping for the money if they ordered only one topping and if they were only ordering a cheese pizza with extra cheese that really they just needed to order a cheese pizza as the cheese only pizza came with more cheese than if they ordered a pizza with say ham. Let me explain. Say for instance you order a large pan pizza with italian sausage, you would get 12oz of sausage. Now if you added pepperoni to that pizza you would only get 8oz of sausage and the pepperoni is spaced much further apart leaving 1in. gaps around, instead of edge to edge which you would get if you only ordered pepperoni. You still were charged the same amount for each topping but the more you added the less we were ordered to put on your pizza. Same with the cheese, cheese only large pizzas got 16oz of cheese but you order a topping and the cheese is reduced to 12oz. Order pepperoni and extra cheese and you got 12oz plus 4oz of cheese. Big ripoff but I ate free
Now with their constant trying to invent new pizza every few months it has really gotten pathetic. Stuffed Crust pizza, NY Big Slab, Double Stuffed Crust, 4 Cheese Stuffed Crust, 4 Way Pizza...enough! Just make GOOD pizza, thats all. I can see it now "We've made the new Ultimate 7 layer pizza. Theres a layer for mom, a layer for dad, some for the kids, some for the neighbors kids, the baby sitter too and don't forget grandma (but with her high blood pressure and heart disease from eating our products in the past, she really can't have any) This new Ultimate 7 layer pizza is triple stuffed with 7 of your favorite toppings and we don't stop there. Each level of pizza has the crust stuffed with 3 different kinds of cheese making a total of 21 cheeses. And don't think we left out the dipping sauce, No Sir! We have injected pizza sauce, dipping butter and Ranch dressing into the inner ring of crust on each level of pizza just like Aquafresh Toothpaste!"
disclaimer: We take no responsibility in the overall health of you or your family. Some customers may gain weight from eating our products. In fact if you actually read the Nutritional Information availible on our website you would realize that eating one slice of this food is more salt than you should have in one day not to mention the fat content so we won't. Also by calling any of ourrestaurants you hereby give up all your rights. Cholesterol testing kits availible separately.
But seriously I think its over for pizza hut trying to deliver a decent pie. I still have not been able to convince my wife of this. She seems to like the stuff. To each there own.