Pizza Hut to close 500 underperforming restaurants

The National Restaurant News is reporting Yum! Brands executives saying Pizza Hut will likely see domestic locations decrease by nearly 500 stores over the next two years as the brand closes underperforming dine-in restaurants and swaps them out for modern express stores.

“We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery carryout assets,” David W. Gibbs, president and chief operating and financial officer, said during the company’s second quarter conference call. “This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for faster long-term growth.”

While this transition is occurring, Gibbs said “we expect a temporary deceleration in the pace of new unit development for the Pizza Hut division.”

“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,” he said.

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