When it comes to tossing around dough, no one does it more often than Pizza Hut. The unit of YUM! Brands operates the world's #1 pizza chain with more than 13,000 outlets in about 90 countries worldwide. The chain serves a variety of pizza styles, including its flagship Pan Pizza, as well as Thin n' Crispy, Stuffed Crust, Hand Tossed, and Sicilian. Other menu items include pasta, salads, and sandwiches. Pizza Hut offers dine-in service at its characteristic red-roofed restaurants, as well as carry-out and delivery service. About 15% of the restaurants are company-operated, while the rest are franchised. The world's largest fast food company, YUM! Brands runs KFC and Taco Bell in addition to Pizza Hut.
Like its sister chains, Pizza Hut has become a global brand largely thanks to franchising efforts that allow the company to expand its restaurants with less corporate expense. Local operators, such as NPC International (the #1 Pizza Hut franchisee in the US), pay royalties and franchise fees in order to use the chain's brand and other intellectual property.
Pizza Hut commands the largest portion of the highly fragmented quick-serve pizza business with about a 15% market share in the US. It has worked to maintain that leadership position through marketing efforts that promote the chain primarily as a family dining option while touting touting the chain's superiority over the competition, mainly Domino's and Papa John's (the #2 and #3 pizza chains, respectively). Pizza Hut is also expanding beyond the pizza business with a line of pasta dishes sold under the Tuscani Pastas mark. The chain also markets chicken wings under the WingStreet brand at more than 3,000 locations.
The first Pizza Hut was opened in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958; its first franchised location opened the following year. The company went public in 1972 and was acquired by PepsiCo in 1977. The 10,000th Pizza Hut location opened in São Paulo in 1994. PepsiCo spun off its restaurant business (which also included KFC and Taco Bell) as TRICON Global Restaurants (now YUM! Brands) in 1997. – less