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8 Secrets Pizza Hut Doesn’t Want You to Know

    8 Secrets Pizza Hut Doesn’t Want You to Know

    You should read this before ordering that Meat-Lovers pizza…

    Whether you grew up eating at Pizza Hut’s unlimited pizza and salad bar or participated in the restaurant’s “Book It!” reading program, Pizza Hut has been a part of American fast-food culture for more than 60 years. The iconic chain has been serving pizza, pasta, breadsticks, and other items in its signature red and black cardboard takeaway boxes since the late 1950s. What began as a college business venture between two brothers has grown into a large corporation with 18,000 locations in over 100 countries. Despite the fact that it is still a massive chain, did you know that over 800 locations have closed in recent years?

    From using controversial ingredients to serving menu items high in sodium, here are 8 Pizza Hut secrets you probably don’t want to know.

    1. It’s one of the more overpriced fast food chains in the country.

    Pizza is known for being a cheap food, but Pizza Hut is not the cheapest. Customers report that pizza at competitors such as Domino’s and Papa John’s is about $2 less expensive than Pizza Hut. Year over year, Pizza Hut’s sales fell 2.2% in 2020, while Domino’s and Papa John’s saw net gains of up to 17.6%. However, Pizza Hut has shown signs of growth since then, so perhaps it was a blip? Fortunately for Pizza Hut, its parent company, Yum Brands, also owns KFC and Taco Bell.

    2. It has secret menu items.

    Don’t be fooled: Pizza Hut has a larger menu than it claims. The “secret” menu at the restaurant includes delectable items such as garlic buffalo sliders, honey barbecue chicken pizza, and buffalo cheese sticks. There’s even a delectable “la-za-gna” pizza made with cheese pizza, Meaty Marinara Pasta, and a heaping helping of shredded mozzarella. To be fair, this may be a Pizza Hut secret that they want you to know.

    3. Some of its menu items are surprisingly unhealthy.

    If you’re trying to eat healthier, you should avoid Pizza Hut’s Buffalo chicken nachos. This dish contains over 1,000 calories. Don’t worry, not every Pizza Hut menu item contains a shockingly high number of calories. For those looking for lighter options, the chain’s thin crust slices, for example, have less than 200 calories.
    Then there’s Pizza Hut’s Meat Lovers Pizza, which is loaded with sausage, ham, bacon, pork, pepperoni, and beef and has a whopping 1,000mg of sodium per slice.

    4. Its book club has seen its fair share of controversy.

    Since 1984, Pizza Hut’s “Book It!” reading program has been a huge success—at least among the majority of people. Conservatives took to Twitter in June 2022 to slam the pizza chain for adding LGBTQ-focused books to its reading list to help celebrate Pride month. Thankfully, despite the social media backlash, the program shows no signs of slowing down. It has now reached one in every five Americans and serves over 14 million students.

    5. Some people weren’t too happy with Pizza Hut’s take on Detroit-style pizza.

    Pizza Hut decided to release its version of a Detroit-style pizza this winter, and while the company claims it was a hit, some Detroit natives weren’t thrilled with the new menu item. “Pizza Hut’s new Detroit-style pizza isn’t even close to being Detroit-style, let alone a passable pizza.”

    6. Its holding company filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

    According to Pizza Marketplace, NPC International Inc., a company that owns over 1,200 Pizza Hut locations and is known as the country’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June of 2020, which was interpreted as an indicator of the chain’s declining popularity.

    7. It’s been accused of using controversial ingredients.

    The Humane League, an organization dedicated to ending animal cruelty for food, has called out some of the country’s largest pizza chains for using controversial ingredients, including Pizza Hut. According to the animal advocacy group, the fast-food chain has failed to commit to animal welfare supply chain practices that 200 other brands, including Chipotle and Denny’s, have pledged to.

    8. It’s closed down hundreds of locations in recent years.

    You’re not dreaming; there are far fewer Pizza Hut locations than there were before the pandemic. In 2019, even before the pandemic, the company decided to close 500 underperforming locations by 2021. In 2020, after NPC International Inc. declared bankruptcy, another 300 locations were closed, bringing the total number of closed stores to 800. Despite the fact that its brick-and-mortar stores are shrinking, the company has no plans to close.

    Learn more: 5 Pizzas You Have to Try At Least Once

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