The legacy of Pizza Hut began in 1958, when two college students from Wichita, Kansas, were approached by a family friend with the idea of opening a pizza parlor. Although the concept was relatively new to many Americans at that time, the brothers quickly saw the potential of this new enterprise.
After borrowing $600 from their mother, they purchased some second-hand equipment and rented a small building on a busy intersection in their hometown. The result of their entrepreneurial efforts was the first Pizza Hut restaurant and the foundation for what would become the largest and most successful pizza restaurant in the world.
During the past four decades we’ve built a reputation for excellence that has earned us the respect of consumers and industry experts alike. Our products have been voted number one in countless consumer surveys nationwide. Our accomplishments as an innovative business leader have been cited by such respected publications as Restaurant Business, Fortune, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
Named “The Best Company to Work For” in Dallas/Fort Worth by D Magazine (January 2000), Pizza Hut has been named the number one national pizza chain in America according to Restaurants & Institutions’ “2001 Choice in Chains” survey. Pizza Hut is the recognized leader of the $25 billion pizza category and has been since 1971.
Building the leading pizza company has required innovation, a commitment to quality, and a dedication to service and value. But perhaps as much as anything, it has taken the qualities of entrepreneurship, growth and leadership, which have characterized our business through more than four decades of success.
Pizza Hut franchisees, for example, exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit which launched the system back in 1958. Through their interest and initiative, the Pizza Hut system was able to develop new territories both in the United States and overseas. Today, franchisees and joint venture partnerships account for nearly half of the system’s total units.
In 1993, we opened our 10,000th unit in Sao Paulo, Brazil with soccer legend Pele kicking a ball through the front door. He then held a global press conference linking journalists around the world via satellite.
Another important step in our growth came in 1977 when Pizza Hut was acquired by one of the true giants of international business: PepsiCo, Inc. As part of the PepsiCo corporate family, Pizza Hut shared its leadership position with such fine products as Pepsi-Cola® brand soft drinks and Frito-Lay® brand snack foods. In October, 1997, PepsiCo spun off the restaurant businesses (Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell) and Tricon was founded.
Now called Yum! Brands, it is also the parent company to A+W and Long John Silvers. When combined with Pizza Hut, these organizations make up the world’s largest restaurant group.
When it comes to leadership, our proactive approach to product development and marketing provides ample evidence of our abilities. Beginning with the original thin crust pizza first served in 1958, Pizza Hut has made continuing efforts to refine our products, and to develop new products to suit consumers’ tastes.
Today, our four core pizzas, Pan Pizza, Thin ‘N Crispy®, Hand-Tossed Style and Stuffed Crust, are loved by millions around the world and have become the standard by which all others are judged.
We strive to present the finest products the industry has to offer and to provide those products wherever and whenever people want them. To achieve these goals, we’ve developed a number of services and points of distribution through the years. With our Personal Pan Pizza®, we’ve made quick, affordable pizza a viable lunch alternative for millions of Americans. Through our highly successful delivery operations, which we launched in 1985, we’ve made it more convenient for consumers to enjoy many of our delicious products, no matter where they are. Yes, we’ve come a long way since that opening night back in 1958 when pizzas were given away to generate interest in the brand new business. And through the strength of our heritage, our culture and our people, we look forward to even more success in the years ahead.