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Whatever Happened To Dine-In Pizza Huts?

Stuffing your face at the Pizza Hut buffet is officially a thing of the past. The pizza chain, known for its red roof, stuffed crust pan pizza, and a supplier of countless childhood memories, has closed its doors on over 500 Pizza Hut Restaurants as the chain focuses on carryout and modern delivery options according to Food Business News.

Is This the End of the Dine-in Pizza Hut?

Owned by Louisville-based Yum Brands (who also owns KFC and Taco Bell) Expressed two years ago that its business model was changing. "We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery carryout assets," David Gibbs, president, COO and CFO of Yum! Brands, said according to Food Business News. "This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for faster long-term growth."

The move seems to be in line with the way most fast-food restaurants are going. In 2021, Yum! Brands, Inc. agreed to acquire Dragontail Technologies, a food preparation company that automates kitchen flow, driver dispatch, and custom order tracking. It's more like robot order taking than robots making your food. The company also acquired two start-ups Tictuc and Kvantum, which allow customers to order via messaging and social media apps while the latter uses AI to generate insight on marketing performance.

Our generation doesn't want to eat at a Pizza Hut. Millennials are 72% more likely to order takeout over dine-in with Gen Z at 66% according to Food Business News.

The Nostalgia

From a nostalgic standpoint, it'll be sad to see the red roofs be torn down for a more "aesthetic" style. Some of the most exciting dinners I ate as a child was at the Pizza Hut buffet.

Plastic Restaurant Cups

A visit to Pizza Hut meant drinking more soda than my bladder could handle out of their red plastic cups. It meant dishing out my own slice of pizza and sliding into the leather booths squished up to my other siblings.

As much as I miss the nostalgia aspect of it, I personally don't mind the closing of dine-in locations. We've got one right up the road (dine-in too) and I've never stepped foot in there except to pick up my pizza order. Why would I sit in a now-stale restaurant when I can sit in my pajamas, eat mediocre pizza, and watch the latest Jackass movie?

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