Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut/Yelp

Things You Never Knew About Pizza Hut

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Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut/Yelp

Pizza Hut Fun Facts

Pan pizza, hut-shaped red roofs, nostalgic red plastic cups — there are so many Pizza Hut staples that we all know and love. The restaurant has been around for seven decades and is the second-largest pizza chain in the world. While it may be well-known and certainly well-loved, do you really know everything there is to know about Pizza Hut? 

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Pizza Hut Plaque
Wikimedia Commons

A Humble Beginning

Today, Pizza Hut is one of the biggest pizza chains in the world, but how did it come to be in the first place? Two brothers, Dan and Frank Carney, came up with the concept for the pizzeria while they were still in college. To jumpstart their venture and open their first restaurant, they borrowed $600 from their mother — talk about a good investment.

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Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut by Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA)

What’s In a Name?

There wasn’t a whole lot of free rein when settling on the name “Pizza Hut.” The signage for the restaurant only had room for eight letters, so the founding brothers were limited in their options.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mt. Kilimanjaro by Chris 73 (CC BY-SA)

Pizza Reaching New Peaks

Have you ever given your address at the end of placing a pizza order for delivery and heard the dreaded, “I’m sorry, that’s outside of our delivery zone”? Pizza Hut broke that boundary in 2016 when a group of staff members hiked with experienced guides to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, all with a pepperoni pizza in tow. The feat earned Pizza Hut a Guinness World Record for “highest altitude pizza delivery.”

Related: 24 Surprising Facts About Pizza, America's Favorite Comfort Food

Pizza Hut Delivery
Pizza Hut Delivery by William Murphy (CC BY-SA)

Online Ordering Pioneers

While ordering pizza online is now the most common method, it wasn’t always an option. Pizza Hut was the first pizza restaurant to provide customers the ability to order online.

Related: The Most Common Complaint About Pizza Delivery

Pizza Hut Museum
Beckie C. / Yelp

Making Moves

The original Pizza Hut building is a 500-square-foot brick house that was uprooted from its original location and moved to Wichita State University’s campus in Kansas. Now a museum, the building is home to tons of memorabilia from the original restaurant.

Space Pizza
Space Pizza by Mike Licht (CC BY)

Aim for the Moon

When it comes to advertising, Pizza Hut has had a bit of a go-big-or-go-home mentality. In 1999, the pizza parlor wanted to use a laser to have its logo appear on the moon. The Hut’s bubble was ultimately burst upon discovering the logo would need to be the size of Texas in order to show up on the moon, which would have cost millions.

Related: The Craziest Marketing Stunts of All Time

Pizza Delivery
Pizza Delivery by Tracy Hunter (CC BY)

Three-Wheeled Delivery

Before pizza delivery became an expected perk, Pizza Hut delivered its first pizzas in Aggieville, Kansas by way of a three-wheeled scooter. The concept for delivery definitely caught on, but the vehicle of choice has certainly changed.

Beautiful young woman uses bottle of perfume at home, closeup

Pizza Perfume

Pizza Hut perfume started as a joke, but became a reality when Pizza Hut Canada’s Facebook page reached 100,000 fans. The fragrance harnesses the aroma of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough, so you can smell like a warm, just-opened pizza box.

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International Space Station
Wikimedia Commons

Out-Of-This-World Delivery

There is no challenge or journey too big for Pizza Hut. In 2001, the pizzeria delivered a pizza to the International Space Station after going through a rigorous process to maintain the pizza’s freshness.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Pizza Joints Across America

The White House
The White House by Daniel Schwen (CC BY-SA)

Presidential Pizza

Thanks to former First Lady Barbara Bush, the White House has a spot on the list of impressive places where Pizza Hut has delivered food. In 1989, Bush hosted a charity event with more than 200 children and had Pizza Hut handle the catering. 

Children Reading

Book It!

In 1984, Pizza Hut launched a campaign aimed at encouraging kids to read. The Book It! program offers free pizza to kids as an incentive for reading books. Going strong for almost four decades, Book It! reaches about 14 million children every year.

Pizza Pete

Pizza Pete

Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders, and Little Caesar are just some of the notable fast food mascots. But did you know that Pizza Hut used to have a mascot, too? Pizza Pete was a cartoon man with a mustache wearing a chef’s hat, neckerchief, and apron. He served as the pizza parlor’s logo until 1969 when the iconic red roof logo was adopted.

Related: Fast Food Restaurants Then and Now

International Pizza Hut
International Pizza Hut by RyanCreek1998 (CC BY-SA)
First Pizza Hut
First Pizza Hut by Sanjay Acharya (CC BY-SA)

Fast Franchising

The Carney brothers hit the ground running after they opened the first Pizza Hut location in Wichita, Kansas. They started to franchise within their first year of business, establishing a new branch in Topeka and six other establishments.

Heart shaped pizza with mozzarella, sausagered, wine bottle, two wineglass, gift box on rusty background
DZ Lab/istockphoto

Nothing Says Romance Like Pepperoni

Pizza is a love language, right? According to Pizza Hut it definitely is. In 2012, the pizzeria marketed an engagement package that included a fireworks show, limousine service, videographer, photographer, a ruby red ring, and flowers for $10,010. How could anyone say no to a proposal like that?

Related: Dos and Don’ts of Marriage Proposals

Cheeses selection

Easy Cheesy

There are plenty of tasty ingredients that go into creating Pizza Hut’s incredible pizzas and one of the key components is cheese. The company uses more than 300 million pounds of cheese every year, making it one of the biggest consumers of cheese in the world. 

Pasta Hut
Pasta Hut by Million Moments (CC BY-SA)

April Fools!

In 2008, U.S. Pizza Huts sent out emails to subscribers advertising the pasta menu. In the email, the company announced its new name, “Pasta Hut.” The marketing tactic was actually just an April Fools prank that lasted through the month.

Man holding crate ob fresh vegetables

Farm Fresh Ingredients

Pizza Hut has always made high quality ingredients one of its top priorities. The company partners with farmers, sourcing all-natural ingredients through them. As an added bonus, since the business continues to thrive, Pizza Hut helps to support farmers through the partnership. 

Pizza delivery man using smart phone in a car

Pizza Hut to the Rescue

Typically escaping a hostage situation is thanks to law enforcement intervention. However, a woman who was being held hostage by her boyfriend ordered a pizza through Pizza Hut’s mobile app and added a note asking for help. The Pizza Hut crew notified the authorities immediately upon receiving the order and the woman safely escaped when the authorities came to deliver the pizza.

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