Pizza Hut is making some changes and will be closing hundreds of dine-in locations across the U.S.
According to Food Business Network, the pizza franchise has decided to focus on delivery and carryout services, meaning it will cut back on “underperforming dine-in restaurants.”
“This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth,” President of Yum! Brands David W. Gibbs said in an earnings call, the outlet reported.
There are currently 7,496 Pizza Hut locations across the country, according to Yum! Brands website. Of those, 6,100 are traditional dine-in restaurants and 1,350 are express locations.
The total, however, is expected to drop to as low as 7,000 in the next two years Gibbs said.
“During this transition, we expect a temporary deceleration in the pace of new unit development for the Pizza Hut division… As a result, 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 explained.
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The goal is to replace some of those dine-in units with the express locations, and Gibbs explained they hope to keep the gap between operation minimal.
“It’s hard to estimate how soon the timing of when a store will close and then when the replaced unit will open,” he told Food Business Network. “There will be gaps on some of those, but certainly, our goal is to try to minimize those gaps.”