Pizza Hut, the world's largest pizza chain with over 12,500 restaurants across 91 countries will change its name to Pasta Hut in 30 select outlets in the UK as part of a £100-million revamp after rebranding itself in Canada earlier this year, in an attempt to attract new customers and to move more upmarket.
After spending £17 million this year in the UK on updating its outlets, it will spend an additional £100 million over the next six years on extending its outlets with a more contemporary look and state-of-the-art equipment and by launching a new menu by introducing eight new pasta dishes in its 700 restaurants in the UK and at the same time it will continue to sell pizzas.
New sign boards are being put with the changed name as the Texas-based chain of restaurants battles to adopt a wholesome image, not whole-fat. The change in name will be backed by a multi-million pound marketing campaign on TV advertisements created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. The company said that its research had revealed that consumers eat more pasta than pizza, although they still want variety when eating out.
The restaurant chain has changed its menu of pizzas, pasta and the famous salad bar and will now have a higher nutritional value and quality of ingredients to those low in salt and saturated fat and cutting down on hydrogenated oils. The menu will now make pasta its priority, keeping pizza as kids meals and including hidden vegetables in its preparations, since consumers opt for healthier options.
Salt has been cut and will be reduced a further 10 per cent in the next three years to meet Food Standards Agency targets.
Chief executive Alasdair Murdoch said that the rebranding was a reflection of the nutritional changes to the menu but maintained that the focus would remain on value for money.
In recent years the food chain has also been focusing on strengthening its online order booking and home delivery business.
Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney, and is one of the flagship brands of Yum! Brands, Inc., which also has KFC, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silver's under its umbrella.
In 1972, it went public on the New York Stock Exchange, and five years later it was acquired by Pepsico, which later also bought KFC and Taco Bell, which were spun off into Tricon, and in 2002 joined with Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants to become YUM! brands.
On 1 April 2008, Pizza Hut sent emails to customers advertising that they now offer pasta items on their menu. The email stated "Pasta is so good we've changed our name to 'Pasta Hut'."
The name change was a publicity stunt held for April Fools' Day, with the company's Dallas headquarters changing its exterior logo to Pasta Hut. This name change was also used to promote the new Tuscani Pasta line and new Pizza Hut dine-in menu.
The oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut is in Manhattan, Kansas, in a shopping and tavern district known as Aggieville.
In India, Pizza Hut has 137 restaurants across 36 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chandigarh amongst others. Yum! is in the process of opening Pizza Hut restaurants at many more locations to service a larger customer base across the country.