Plano-based Pizza Hut to Close as Many as 500 Dine-in Locations

Plano-based Pizza Hut could close hundreds of locations in the next few years. The chain will drop about 500 low performing locations over the next 24 months, said David Gibbs, president of Pizza Hut’s parent company, Yum Brands, which also owns fast-food chains KFC and Taco Bell. Gibbs disclosed the plans during an earnings call Wednesday.Pizza Hut is among the largest pizza chains in the U.S., with about 7,500 locations. That includes 6,100 traditional restaurants. The decision to close bricks-and-mortar locations comes as the company looks more toward delivery and carryout for its U.S customer base. Gibbs said shifting the focus will ultimately strengthen long term growth prospects for the brand founded in 1958. “We have a lot of stores that were built in the right spots 30 or 40 years ago,” Yum CEO Greg Creed said. “But that's not the right spot today to have a modern delivery asset.” The closures will be primarily under performing dine-in restaurants. Pizza Hut could close more than the estimated 500 locations, but Gibbs said some would be replaced at or near the original locations. “For the most part, any area ... where a store closes, there should be the opportunity to rebuild the store in that area or somewhere nearby,” Creed said. The closures will bring the chain down to about 7,000 U.S locations. Pizza Hut also operates 11,000 restaurants internationally. Its U.S. sales totaled about $5.5 billion last year.  Continue reading...

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