Pizza Hut may shutter as many as 500 dine-in locations
Food Business News is reporting that as many as 500 older dine-in Pizza Hut restaurants in the country could close as the chain increases its focus on delivery/carryout. The chain has not announced which restaurants will close.
“We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets,” said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call to discuss second-quarter results. “This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth.”
“During this transition, we expect a temporary deceleration in the pace of new unit development for the Pizza Hut division as continued healthy international unit growth will be partially offset by a short-term decline in the absolute number of U.S. units. As a result, our U.S. store count could drop to as low as 7,000 locations over the next 24 months, primarily driven by closures of underperforming dine-in restaurants before rebounding to current levels and above in the future.”
Within the United States, about 6,100 Pizza Hut locations are traditional restaurants and 1,350 are express units, he said.
While the closures will slash its overall number, the company is continuing to make money. According to a company report, store sales were up 2 percent last year.