Dishing about Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain that specializes in pizza and other Italian-American dishes. Founded in 1958, it has since become one of the largest pizza chains in the world, with thousands of locations across the globe. In this article, we will delve into the history of Pizza Hut, explore its menu offerings, and discuss some of the criticisms and controversies surrounding the chain.


Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney. The Carney brothers were both students at Wichita State University and wanted to start a business to help pay for their education. They borrowed $600 from their mother and opened a small pizza restaurant. The original Pizza Hut building, which is still standing, was shaped like a hut with a red roof and white walls.

The Carney brothers’ goal was to create a pizza restaurant that was family-friendly and affordable. They started out by offering only a few pizza toppings, but they quickly expanded their menu to include more toppings and other items such as pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads.

Founders of Pizza Hut

In the 1960s, Pizza Hut began franchising its restaurants. By the end of the decade, there were over 300 Pizza Hut locations in the United States. In 1977, Pizza Hut opened its first international location in Canada. Today, Pizza Hut has over 18,000 locations in 100 countries around the world.

Over the years, Pizza Hut has introduced many new menu items and promotions. One of the most famous promotions was the “Book It!” program, which started in 1984. The program encouraged children to read by offering them a free personal pan pizza for meeting their reading goals.

Despite the company’s success, Pizza Hut has faced some challenges over the years. In the 1990s, the company’s sales declined due to increased competition from other pizza chains like Domino’s and Papa John’s during the Pizza Wars. To address this, Pizza Hut introduced a new advertising campaign and revamped its menu.

In 1997, Pizza Hut became a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which also owns KFC and Taco Bell. Under Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut has continued to expand its menu and introduce new promotions.

More recently, Pizza Hut has faced criticism for its food quality and delivery times. In 2017, the company announced that it would be closing hundreds of its dine-in locations in the United States to focus more on delivery and carryout orders.

Despite these challenges, Pizza Hut remains one of the most well-known and beloved pizza chains in the world. The company continues to innovate and introduce new menu items, such as its “Beyond Meat” pizza, which featured plant-based sausage. (I loved it! However, it’s no longer available.)

Menu Offerings

Pizza Hut is best known for its range of pizzas, but the restaurant chain has also offered a variety of other menu items over the years. The company’s signature dish is the pan pizza, which is baked in a deep dish pan and has a thick, crispy crust. Other popular pizza varieties include stuffed crust pizza, thin ‘n crispy pizza, and the Big New Yorker pizza, which has a thin crust and large slices.

In addition to pizza, Pizza Hut also offers a variety of appetizers, such as breadsticks, garlic knots, and chicken wings. These items are often served with dipping sauces, including marinara sauce, ranch dressing, and garlic butter. Pizza Hut also offers a range of salads, pasta dishes, and desserts, such as cinnamon sticks, brownies, and ice cream.

Pizza Hut has faced intense competition in the pizza market over the years. Competitors like Domino’s and Papa John’s offer similar menu items, such as pan pizzas, thin crust pizzas, and appetizers like breadsticks and wings. However, Pizza Hut has distinguished itself by offering unique menu items like stuffed crust pizza and the Big New Yorker pizza. The restaurant chain has also experimented with new menu offerings over the years, such as the P’Zone, a calzone-like pizza pocket filled with toppings, and the Double Cheesy Crust Pan Pizza, which has a crust filled with two types of cheese.

Despite this, Pizza Hut has faced criticism from some consumers who claim that the quality of its food has declined in recent years. Competitors like Domino’s have capitalized on this criticism by emphasizing the quality of their ingredients and the speed of their delivery times. In response, Pizza Hut has launched several initiatives aimed at improving the quality of its food and the overall customer experience. For example, the company has introduced a new menu featuring fresh, high-quality ingredients and has launched a mobile app that allows customers to easily order and track their pizzas.

In addition to competition from other pizza chains, Pizza Hut has also faced challenges from new entrants to the fast-food market, such as Chipotle and Panera Bread. These companies have gained popularity in recent years by offering fresh, high-quality ingredients and healthier menu options. In response, Pizza Hut has launched several initiatives aimed at appealing to health-conscious consumers. The company has introduced new salads and pasta dishes made with fresh ingredients and has emphasized the nutritional value of its menu items.

Business Analysis

There are over 18,000 Pizza Hut restaurants across the world, and the company has annual revenues of over $10 billion. The chain’s popularity is due in part to its extensive menu offerings and its successful marketing strategies. However, despite its success, Pizza Hut has faced some economic challenges over the years.

One of the biggest economic challenges facing Pizza Hut is the intense competition in the pizza industry. The fast-food industry is highly competitive, with many well-established players such as Domino’s and Papa John’s. These competitors often offer similar menu items, and many customers do not have a strong preference for one brand over the other. As a result, Pizza Hut must continually work to differentiate itself and offer unique menu items to remain competitive.

Another economic challenge facing Pizza Hut is the rising cost of ingredients. The price of ingredients such as cheese, flour, and tomato sauce can be volatile and subject to sudden increases. This can make it difficult for Pizza Hut to maintain its profit margins while also keeping menu prices affordable for customers. In response, the company has implemented cost-saving measures such as optimizing its supply chain and sourcing ingredients locally.

Criticisms and Controversies

Pizza Hut has faced its share of controversies and criticisms over the years. One of the most notable controversies was the use of a chemical called azodicarbonamide (ADA) in their dough. ADA is a chemical that is commonly used in the production of foamed plastics and synthetic leathers. It was also used as a bleaching agent in flour in the past but has since been banned in many countries due to potential health risks. While it is safe in small quantities, the use of ADA in food has been heavily criticized, and Pizza Hut was not immune to this criticism.

In 2014, a food blogger named Vani Hari started a petition to get Pizza Hut to stop using ADA in their dough. The petition garnered over 80,000 signatures and received national media attention. In response, Pizza Hut announced that they would remove ADA from their dough by the end of the year. This move was seen as a victory for food activists who had been pushing for greater transparency in the food industry.

Another criticism that Pizza Hut has faced is the quality of their ingredients. Some customers have complained that the pizza is too greasy (I personally LOVE the grease) or that the toppings are not fresh. There have also been complaints about the use of preservatives and artificial flavors in their food. While Pizza Hut has made efforts to address these concerns by introducing new menu items and promoting the use of fresh ingredients, these criticisms have not gone away entirely.

Another controversy that Pizza Hut has faced is the treatment of its workers. In 2017, the chain was sued by a group of employees who alleged that they were not paid for overtime work and were not given proper meal and rest breaks. Pizza Hut denied the allegations, but ultimately settled the lawsuit for $2.5 million.


Pizza Hut remains one of the most popular pizza chains in the world. Its distinctive red roof, iconic logo, and delicious pizza have helped to make it a household name. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic pepperoni pizza or something a little more adventurous, Pizza Hut has something for everyone. So, the next time you’re craving a slice, why not give Pizza Hut a try?


Carney, R. (2017, October 16). Pizza Hut’s History: From Family Owned to Part of Yum! Brands. Investopedia.

Elliott, F. (2017, March 1). The War To Sell You A Pizza Has Reached A New Peak. Huffington Post.

Harris, S. (2020, February 20). The Great Pizza Wars of the 1990s. Eater.

Heilpern, W. (2018, August 23). Pizza Hut and KFC are winning the fast-food war. Business Insider.

Hsu, T. (2018, February 22). Pizza Hut vs. Domino’s vs. Papa John’s: Who delivers the best pizza? USA Today.

Linn, A. (2018, January 24). Why Pizza Hut’s Original Pan Pizza Is Still A Classic. Forbes.

Pizza Hut. (n.d.). Our Story.

Pizza Hut. (n.d.). Nutrition.

Pizza Hut. (n.d.). Our Menu.

QSR Magazine. (2021, March 10). The QSR 50.

Solomon, B. (2019, July 15). Pizza Hut’s Problem Isn’t Delivery. It’s Everything Else. Forbes.

Stankiewicz, K. (2018, February 28). Why Pizza Hut is still lagging Domino’s and

Little Caesars. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *