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Author Topic: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations  (Read 1847 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« on: August 08, 2019, 05:16:01 PM »
Pizza Hut is implementing a new strategy that focuses on carry-out and delivery and as a result plans to close up to 500 dine-in locations:

https://www.pmq.com/pizza-hut-closes-500-dine-in-locations-focuses-on-carry-out/

Peter

Offline nick57

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 06:48:07 PM »
  The dine in PH's here look like any other generic dine in fast food place. They don't smell like a pizza place either. No real draw to go there for family pizza night. It's easier to get delivery or take out and having family movie night at home. In the last couple of years I have done their lunch buffet with some business friends. Most of the time if I want buffet pizza for lunch I go to a local chain which serves better cracker crust pizzas.

  I wonder if PH's move to push delivery will be followed by other fast food chains. It may be great for their bottom line, but sometimes I like to sit down an enjoy the meal. Lunchtime is a good example. I suppose with the rise of food delivery services, it might make sense to end in-store dining and let 3rd parties do the deliveries. Of course there can be problems with those as Walter has alluded to. There was a news story this week that around 28% of delivery drivers sample their food orders.  >:(

Offline dmckean44

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 07:27:39 PM »
I wonder if PH's move to push delivery will be followed by other fast food chains.

Maybe, but I doubt it.

Pizza Hut is in a situation where all their major direct US competitors are delivery/carryout only and pretty much always have been. If they want to operate on an even playing field, they need to ditch the added overhead of their dining rooms.

None of it really bothers me since Pizza Hut hasn't been a place where I regularly dined-in for almost 25 years now.

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 02:39:43 AM »
It's cause Little Caesar's is stealing all their customers. If Little Caesar's delivered, Pizza Hut might already be done. I noticed that most people in my apartment who order delivery pizza don't have a car. No joke. I wonder how much of it is really a choice.

Here's the ironic thing though, Pizza Hut is such a strong, nostalgic brand for so many Americans, I bet they could have simply made a decent pizza and those 500 dining rooms would still be buzzing... people STILL rave about old Pizza Hut. I don't understand the business model of growing a giant successful multi-national brand, recognizable by everybody, with tons of locations, just to drive it into the ground chasing profit margins and cutting quality.

I don't see how these giant brands could get any more out of touch with their customers.

All those years of stuffed crust, P'Zones, Ultimate Cheesy Crusts, billions of dollars spent on media marketing? Could they not have made more money by simply offering a quality pizza this entire time instead?

My towns Pizza Hut already shut down their dine-in location. They actually took over the old NY slice shop now... too bad they didn't keep those deck ovens.   :pizza:
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 02:41:50 AM by invertedisdead »
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Offline jkb

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 12:33:22 PM »
My local PH hasn't updated the interior for 40 years.  I don't know how they survive.  Little Caesar's is long gone, PJ's lasted less than a year, Pizzeria Uno burned and they didn't rebuild (it was replaced by a Red Robin a few years ago and it's set to close).  Subway, DQ, long gone.  There's still a Domino's.  We have so many restaurants and 40+ mom and pop pizzerias that the chains don't stand a chance.  The mall is dying.  The downtown shops are where it's at.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 12:42:29 PM by jkb »
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Offline Zing

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 02:05:33 PM »
Ever since Peter started this thread six months ago, I have observed the goings-on at dine-in locations I am familiar with. Locations with a 50 car parking lot that were packed on a Friday night 30 or 40 years ago are empty now. A few near me have just quietly closed down. The franchisee who runs all the Pizza Huts around here is primarily an investment company. They seem to have zero interest in food quality. They can't even bake what is essentially frozen pizza correctly. Since I only buy their pizzas now online after receiving deep discount emailed offers, I never really noticed the dining areas were empty. The company is still able to deliver to some old areas from nearby delivery/carryout locations.

A recent trip allowed me to stop in at other franchisee's dine in properties, locations I once thought were pretty good. These restaurants were pretty empty, too. The pizza tasted better than the ones from the investment company. But all the years of cost cutting took their toll. People realize on a subconscious level that this pizza is no longer great, but can't figure out why.

Pizza Hut blames it on people wanting to eat at home. If you live fairly close to a Pizza Hut and can get it from 40% to 60% off the menu price on deal, you might be inclined to order carryout. But, what about the new gourmet pizza chains such as Mod Pizza, Pieology, &pizza, Blaze Pizza, Rise Pies, and PizzaRev? People are still going out to eat at this new wave of pizza chains.

Some of the present franchisees are kamikaze operators. Back in September, Moody's lowered the rating of the debt of the largest Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, to junk status:
https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-downgrades-NPC-Internationals-CFR-to-Caa1-outlook-remains-negative--PR_409994

For the dine-in locations at least, all of this is starting to look like the fairly quick demise of the Shakey's chain, a demise that was triggered by the likes of couponing Pizza Hut, and an impotent franchisor.

We have a lot of fans of old skool Pizza Hut here. To those folks, I would say to get your still and video cameras and document your favorite locations before they are leased to a Chinese restaurant or marijuana dispensary. I came across real estate listings for half of the dine-in locations of a smaller-scale franchisee. I guess the Pizza Hut migration strategy is for the franchisee to sell or lease the dine-in location, close it, then do carryout and delivery from some low rent location halfway between the fat rendering plant and the sewage works. But some of these kamikaze operators may not have to capital right now to do this.

If you use the news feature of the Google and Yahoo search engines, you will find a steady string of links to local media stories about the closure of a (once popular) Pizza Hut. Stories of how couples met there, had their early birthday parties there, had sports victory celebrations there, etc.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 03:25:20 PM »
Our pizzeria started out with mostly take out probably 90%.  4 years later we are now about 60% which is good because we only have indoor seating for 30.  In the summer we can use the patio for another 20.  Most weekends seats are full most of the night and weeknights can get pretty full as well in waves.  Judy always suggests to take out customers to sit and have a slice as it is best right out of the oven. More and more are taking her up on this and returning with their families/friends to dine in.  I think if you offer an old school - know the names and goings on of your regulars and welcome new customers- dinning in can be vibrant even without TV, booze, wifii, music.  Walter
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 03:27:23 PM by waltertore »
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Offline Zing

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 09:13:30 AM »
The following is a perishable list of stories about Pizza Hut closings after and before the August, 2019 announcement. Some of the stories will be taken down by the broadcasters and newspapers that posted them as they age. There are reports of some stores closing down without notice, as happened with other chain failures like Benigans and Steak and Ale. Lots of "No Comment", as Yum Brands really doesn't want to admit that a lot of those closed locations were really nasty for several years. Sure, there are still plenty of dine-in locations, such as at rural Interstate highway junctions where people will want to dine in, and there is nobody to deliver to locally. The essays by Steve Lovelace listed further down are worth reading.

https://wrrv.com/long-time-hudson-valley-pizza-hut-closes-up-shop/
https://mix957gr.com/pizza-hut-in-north-holland-announces-they-are-closing/
https://wjbq.com/pizza-hut-in-windham-closes-as-company-shifts-to-delivery/
https://kissbinghamton.com/front-street-pizza-hut-restaurant-closes-suddenly/
https://www.pressrepublican.com/news/local_news/us-avenue-pizza-hut-to-close/article_a8396e6b-2548-517a-a5e2-7ee83784c74a.html
and:
https://www.suncommunitynews.com/articles/the-sun/closing-up-shop-at-pizza-hut/
https://www.fredericksburg.com/business/bowling-green-pizza-hut-closes/article_ac7454e7-ed12-5a3c-b2dc-7fe60f222908.html
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/pizza-hut-is-latest-chain-restaurant-to-close-in-hempfield/
https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/local-news/pizza-hut-closes-in-town-of-ulster-after-years-in/article_8ae741a0-4de0-11ea-a71c-636c73b128f4.html
https://www.syracuse.com/business/2020/02/after-nearly-43-years-of-operation-another-central-ny-pizza-hut-to-close.html
https://www.themorningsun.com/news/local/alma-pizza-hut-closing-monday/article_9feefbb6-483a-11ea-a051-df2e2871d75d.html           alma
https://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20200125/north-holland-pizza-hut-closing-soon
https://richmondbizsense.com/2020/01/21/shuttered-pizza-hut-to-make-way-for-starbucks-in-chesterfield-shopping-center/
https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/commercial-real-estate/article/21113528/pizza-hut-building-on-east-side-sells-for-21m
https://www.miningjournal.net/news/front-page-news/2020/01/pizza-hut-to-close-on-sunday/
https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/news/cc-mount-airy-food-20200108-bh54iodfqfhdhcev37x3bnwige-story.html
Includes video:
https://abc10up.com/2020/01/08/marquettes-pizza-hut-closing-after-33-years-of-service/
https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/Marquette-Pizza-hut-officially-closed--566930251.html
https://www.unionleader.com/news/business/pizza-hut-building-sells-in-manchester-is-a-popeyes-coming/article_4cde976e-ded2-57b9-babe-ba8b30bb2a32.html
https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/news/cc-pizza-hut-eldersburg-20191226-wnk3rz7ynfesfpz4db7mqxcnnm-story.html
https://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com/demolition-of-pizza-hut-in-west-bend-underway/
https://www.rivertowns.net/business/4820653-River-Falls-Pizza-Hut-closing
https://www.heraldbulletin.com/business/pizza-hut-on-broadway-set-to-close/article_f3d0bb6e-057f-11ea-a9c9-ff4d8df6c817.html
and a follow-up editorial here:
https://www.heraldbulletin.com/opinion/editorial-pizza-hut-closing-a-sign-of-the-times/article_395fd76a-0719-11ea-8bab-9f724ce79ce7.html
https://levittownnow.com/2019/10/11/area-pizza-huts-close/
https://www.pottsmerc.com/business/pizza-hut-locations-closed-in-berks/article_b062ad02-ef6c-11e9-b34f-4f072ed3739b.html
https://www.fauquier.com/news/business/warrenton-pizza-hut-closed/article_97a2a406-cfe2-11e9-9ba5-bbe316a0c8cb.html
https://www.rivertowns.net/business/4820653-River-Falls-Pizza-Hut-closing
https://www.sylacauganews.com/local/piz1za-hut-in-sylacauga-closes-down


Earlier articles:
https://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/multiple-pizza-hut-locations-abruptly-close-in-central-new-york/
https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2019/06/07/dennys-restaurant-pizza-hut-close-perinton-ny/1350870001/
https://www.stardem.com/business/pizza-hut-closes-its-chestertown-location/article_023684ec-0ad7-5bd9-9be8-c6e54b31f5b7.html
"Pizza Hut closes its Chestertown location. The owner of the Pizza Hut franchise in Chestertown for nearly 40 years has shuttered its restaurant at 903 Washington Ave. The Pizza Hut building at 903 Washington Ave. in Chestertown is for sale......."
https://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Pizza-Hut-closes-location-near-mall-503726171.html
https://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/pizza-hut-closed-in-lititz-franchisee-looking-for-new-location/article_0588ec28-7264-11e9-bc5e-2f7796dbf547.html
https://www.petoskeynews.com/featured-pnr/pizza-hut-s-petoskey-location-shuts-down/article_7c45fd3f-7628-5a8b-a926-649f0817a2fc.html
http://www.kmaland.com/news/tarkio-community-shocked-by-sudden-pizza-hut-closure/article_4c92e554-0f88-11e9-8074-03c17dd0f0ca.html

Pizza Hut placed #2 in number of locations closed in 2019 on Yahoo Finance's list. This list probably also includes Delivery/Carry Out locations:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chains-closing-most-restaurants-2019-130347153.html

This list of closed stores includes many stores that closed before 2019, and includes some non-Pizza Hut stores as well:
https://www.thestoreclosing.com/t/gZxd0Gos

This franchisee did not want to lose his customer base:
https://www.baxterbulletin.com/story/news/local/2019/08/09/mh-pizza-hut-not-closed/1969160001/

I think I can help this area manager out:
https://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/area-manager-mum-on-reason-for-pizza-hut-closing/article_b937d470-139e-11e9-9871-d7dfa74477aa.html
He should read Steve Lovelace's two great essays that I think captures the problem with the dine-in Pizza Huts:
http://steve-lovelace.com/bean-counters-brand-decay/
http://steve-lovelace.com/decline-fall-pizza-hut/

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 08:32:56 PM »
Zing,

Here is a recent Bloomberg article detailing the problems that the operator of 1600 Pizza Hut and Wendy's restaurants is having financially:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-19/pizza-hut-operator-npc-said-to-mull-options-including-bankruptcy

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 08:55:32 PM »
Pizza Hut got to ride the gravy train for far too long.  and now the five-dollar pizza scalpers have poisoned the market. revitalizing dine in Pizza Huts by bringing back a decent good pizza is not going to happen because it wouldn't work.
got a coupon in the mail yesterday from Pizza Hut .....one topping medium pizza for five bucks.  and there you have it.  they used to get ten bucks for those  😢
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Offline nick57

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 09:53:12 PM »
Pizza Hut got to ride the gravy train for far too long.  and now the five-dollar pizza scalpers have poisoned the market. revitalizing dine in Pizza Huts by bringing back a decent good pizza is not going to happen because it wouldn't work.
got a coupon in the mail yesterday from Pizza Hut .....one topping medium pizza for five bucks.  and there you have it.  they used to get ten bucks for those  😢

 5 bucks for that crap is theft.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 10:13:47 PM »
5 bucks for that crap is theft.

    really, or at least ,minimally, mail fraud !!    :-\
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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 02:55:23 PM »
Was Pizza Hut ever considered good? I tried it once and was blown away at how bad it was. This was a long time ago. I can't recall being at a large scale company or franchised pizza place and enjoying it.

Offline halfprice

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2020, 03:02:14 PM »
By me pizza hut has always been pick up or delivery.  No sit down restaurants.  Its good pizza here but if I had to buy pizza it would be dominos.  Little Cesar's is by far the worst.  I refuse to buy or eat it.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 03:05:41 PM by halfprice »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2020, 03:31:58 PM »
Jerry,

Take a look at what Domino's stock has done today:

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/DPZ?p=DPZ&.tsrc=fin-srch

Peter

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Offline halfprice

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2020, 04:44:07 PM »
Jerry,

Take a look at what Domino's stock has done today:

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/DPZ?p=DPZ&.tsrc=fin-srch

Peter
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Offline Zing

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2020, 06:40:08 PM »
Zing,

Here is a recent Bloomberg article detailing the problems that the operator of 1600 Pizza Hut and Wendy's restaurants is having financially:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-19/pizza-hut-operator-npc-said-to-mull-options-including-bankruptcy

Peter

Wow! I didn't think things were that bad. It certainly helps explain why Pizza Hut pizza is often so nasty. As I think about it, the franchisees around here may be in the same boat.  I get the feeling that there is nobody to train new employees on how to properly make and bake pizzas. It looks like they are also squeezing store managers to meet their bogey. If you get a bad pizza and bring it back to complain, they give you a real hard time. Too bad I got addicted to Thin and Crispy Pepperoni pizza so many years ago when once in a while I wanted something different from the New York pizza I grew up on.

UberEats, Door Dash and their like must also be putting pressure on Pizza Hut since for about the same money (after you factor in the delivery charge and tip) people can now order pizza from locally-owned places that produce better pizza.

Bob, I got an even better offer. On January 19th I got an email offer from Pizza Hut for a carryout large cheese pizza for $5.00, offer good until January 25th.. This was the latest salvo in an ongoing price war with Domino's. Two days later on January 21st, I got an email from Domino's offering a carryout large 2 topping pizza for $5.99 starting January 20th repeat January 20th, good until January 26th.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2020, 07:07:08 PM »
Was Pizza Hut ever considered good? I tried it once and was blown away at how bad it was. This was a long time ago. I can't recall being at a large scale company or franchised pizza place and enjoying it.
oh yes mid-70s thin and crispy at the hut ,great.....and soon after came the pan pizza with its fried crispy bottom that was decent also.  Folks ate it up man!!   :drool:  :pizza:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline nick57

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2020, 08:02:07 PM »
oh yes mid-70s thin and crispy at the hut ,great.....and soon after came the pan pizza with its fried crispy bottom that was decent also.  Folks ate it up man!!   :drool:  :pizza:


I loved PH thin crust from the early 60's through the late 70's, then things changed. It was a treat to go out for dinner at PH. You would walk into the shoppe and the aroma was overwhelming. It was like heaven. The crust was light and crispy and the Italian sausage was good. When my dad would bring a pie home on the cardboard disc covered with a paper sack it was exciting. My dad would rip open the sack and the smell would send me to the stars. Starting in the late 70's things changed. The crust was not the same and the sausage was a shell of it's former self.

At the time I figured that it was a bad franchise. I had no idea of what corporate takeover meant at the time. Over the past 10 years I have taken a few chances on their pizza and was not pleased to say the least. I don't think going back to their roots will help. Today the chains emphasize low prices over quality. People buy it up more for the bargain than a good pizza. PH's low quality brought me here. I have learned to make a pretty good cracker crust and I am happy with it. It however does not live up to the early PH pies I grew up and loved. :(
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 08:16:31 PM by nick57 »

Offline fazzari

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Re: Pizza Hut to Close up to 500 Dine-in Locations
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2020, 02:42:10 PM »
I wonder if Pizza Hut is ahead of the curve, especially in regards to the "new normal" we will experience with COVID-19.  We have been forced to close our dining rooms to weather the storm.  But while sales may be down, so are the costs associated with taking care of a dining room.  And while we await for the OK to slowly open up, we of course have to abide by another set of rules.  Watching the governor of California warn what it might be like:  Only allowing limited numbers of patrons, being served with people wearing masks and gloves, using disposable menus etc.,  and then weighing that customers are going to take a long time to feel at ease, I wonder if some will think it really worth trying to partially open up.  Of course, many businesses simply aren't going to survive, and others will continue to offer carryout and delivery only.  I might be wrong, but it seems very logical too me....and if that is true, we might find fewer and fewer restaurants willing to offer onsite dining.

As a pizza guy, through and through, this scares the hell out of me.  I am one who believes that for maximum pleasure, one should eat food right out of the oven, or hot off the grill.  In fact, the only food I ever get for takeout is the breakfast sandwich from McDonalds, and even then, I've started eating it 3 seconds after its in my hand.  The last month has reinforced everything I believe about good food, as I have been forced to order takeout.   I do what I can to help the local restaurants, but, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said the meals were enjoyed.  By the way, I do own a pizza delivery business, and i'm including my own product in this scenario....the difference between my pizza right out of the oven, and my pizza put in a box to be eaten later is large.  I'm just hoping the public will still get the opportunity to enjoy life (pizza) to the fullest.

John

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