A building can tell the story of an era. A red-roofed pizzeria with trapezoid windows causes nostalgic memories of carefree childhood outings spent eating pizza, pasta, and sundaes for many people around the world. Pizza Hut was created in 1958 and is still in business; naturally, over such a long period, many new ones have opened and some closed, leaving their shells for new inhabitants to move in like hermit crabs. The distinct exterior features of Pizza Hut restaurants gave people the idea to spot and share pictures of these repurposed buildings. At first, it can be uncanny seeing a vet or human clinic, or even a church, in what‘s clearly a repainted pizza house. But perhaps delicious memories arisen upon seeing Pizza Hut shapes can soothe the nervous client of a dentist, and hopefully, it doesn't cause them to salivate like Pavlov's dog.
The r/formerPizzaHuts forum is a huge digital collection of abandoned and repurposed Pizza Huts people found in real life, Google street view, and video games, and decided to freeze them in pictures and screenshots. The forum was opened in 2016 and is still active with over 68K members. Scroll down for an interview with the forum's creator/moderator.
More info: Reddit
The subreddit's moderator j1ggy, who introduces himself as an average internet nerd, said he got the idea for the subreddit when former Pizza Hut architecture was mentioned in a comment thread that drifted away from its initial topic. "I love retro gaming. I also love general retro culture, which is probably why former Pizza Hut architecture has always stood out to me."
j1ggy considers the subreddit the perfect medium for this collection. The first few hundred members to join were people from that first discussion, while later thousands joined, which gave them momentum on the platform, attracting even more members. "People are literally driving around their cities and towns taking pictures of all the former Pizza Hut locations they know of for our subreddit and I think that's really cool."
Just Found This Subreddit. I’ve Always Thought This Hut Renovation Was Cool
Does This Count? Lol
Pizza Hut has had quite an evolution. First, in 1958, the 19 Frank and 26-year-old Dan Carney brothers borrowed $600 from their mom, and bought used kitchen equipment to open their Italian-American restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. In 1959, Pizza Hut became a franchise, a business model where brand owners allow another party to sell their products. Pizza Hut does it in exchange for a starting fee, royalties and advertising fee, but the franchisee also has to pay for the construction of the restaurant and inventory. The franchise quickly took off with 1000 outlets all over the world by 1971
I Present To You: The Bud Hut
I'm An Architectural Illustrator Who Got Interested In Chains (Like Pizza Hut) With "Branded" Buildings, And Made This Piece
The classic red shingle roof design was created by their frat brother, architect Richard D. Burke, then applied globally in 1969. There are speculations that the architect was inspired by Ernest J. Kump’s Foothill College design. The company could not afford the upfront fee Richard D. Burke was asking and made a deal, paying him $100 for every restaurant with his design, not knowing how much they would expand.
Dothan, Alabama. I Am From There And Can Confirm Without A Doubt It Was A Pizza Hut
Brandon, FL Actually Is Really Good Phò. My Fiancé Who Is From Here Confirmed Without A Doubt It Was A Pizza Hut
In 1977, the brothers sold the company to PepsiCo for an estimated $310. Around that time, it became the world's largest pizza chain. Interestingly, one of the brothers, Frank, became a Papa Jones franchisee. The brothers were involved in philanthropy and helped over 100 other new entrepreneurs. Frank died in 2020, he was 82 at that time.
Detroit, MI. You Can Take The Pizza Out Of The Hut, But....
Former Pizza Hut Is Still A Pizza Place. The Wood Siding To Disguise The Hut Top. Saskatoon Sk
Pizza Hut expanded to almost 7496 restaurants in the US alone by 2019, then decided to close about 500 and put a bigger focus on delivery and drive-through. The same year, the company decided to bring back its old logo and building design.
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The company's marketing isn't based on nostalgia alone; they go hand in hand with current trends, by expanding menu and parent company Yum! Brands, partnering with vegan food company Beyond Meat, and heavily branding themselves as equitable and inclusive. Yum! Brands is PepsiCo's fast food division, controlling KFC and Taco Bell as well as Pizza Hut.
Vet In Nsw, Australia
Adult Shop In Athens, GA
Pizza Hut's marketing is actually quite innovative, from their introduction of stuffed crust to delivering high up: in 2001 to the International Space Station and in 2016 to Mount Kilimanjaro. Gamers and other geeks are also a part of Pizza Hut's customer base. From 2013, XBOX 360 players could order pizza directly by console, in 2021, Pizza Hut introduced green "Mutagen ranch" as a homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
They Removed The Top Of The Hut But Kept The Windows, Now Pizza Hut Is Right Next To It In The Strip Mall
Bank Of America Hut!
The first opened Pizza Hut restaurant was in a red brick building near Wichita University, where the brothers studied. It proved that students are a great target customer base. The first Hut was absorbed by the university in 1986 for administrational purposes and now serves as a Pizza Hut Museum.
Found In Sheffield England
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Uroll Sushi, Orlando, FL
Photographer duo Chloe Cahill and Ho Hai Tran started spotting former Pizza Huts, hunting them down with the help of Google Maps and traveling to immortalize them before they get demolished. In 2016, they released the Pizza Hunt photo album on Kickstarter, which gained a lot of interest. Moderator j1ggy said he would buy the book as well if it becomes available again.
Hey, Maybe It’ll Become A Pizza Hut Again?
Hm. Seems That Days Gone Has A Secret It Doesn't Want Us To Find
The artist duo expresses interest in what is no more: "lost arts, bygone eras and forgotten histories." "Those that remain, those that have not been demolished or are not slated for demolition, exist in the space where the unremarkable and the unforgettable meet," the artists poetically describe surviving Pizza Hut buildings from the '70s-'90s.
Popeyes X Pizza Hut
Somebody Blue Me!
Note: this post originally had 49 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
When asked what j1ggy's favorite pizza is, he said: "Famoso [...] makes authentic Neapolitan pizzas in a 900°F oven. It's a step away from typical fast food pizza and it's ridiculously good. I love their Prosciutto Arugula pizza. I don't know what it Saveis, but simple, boring-looking arugula is delicious on a pizza."