It’s an age-old American story. A business dream is born. A few dollars are borrowed. Years later, millionaires tell the tale of how they almost didn’t take the big risk. So it goes for Pizza Hut.
This worldwide pizza sensation began with what almost anyone would agree are quite humble roots and grew through dedication to become a powerhouse on the international business scene.
The history of Pizza Hut is interesting, as well, and can serve as a great case study for anyone who thinks a little risk isn’t worth the rewards it can bring. Read on!
Pizza Hut got its start not in the lands of the Old World. It didn’t even begin in the Italian section of New York City. It was founded, in fact, in 1958 by a pair of brothers from Wichita, Kansas. That’s right, Wichita!
After getting the idea from a family friend to open their own pizza shop, Frank and Dan Carney borrowed less than $1,000 from their mom to start the shop. With their nest egg, they bought used equipment, rented a building and went to work.
What began in that small shop has since grown to include more than 10,000 shops worldwide in a pizza empire that spans more than 86 countries.
Pizza Hut is now a portion of Tricon Global Restaurants and operates using franchises. Tricon also owns the Taco Bell and KFC names, bringing fast food restaurants to all corners of the globe.
The company, although a household name now, began with humble roots and was developed over time through the careful watch of the Carney brothers. The timeline for the restaurant’s growth is simply fascinating.
The store was founded in 1958 and by ’59, the brothers had incorporated and opened their first franchise in Topeka. By 1965, Pizza Hut had its first commercial on television and by 1967 it made its first appearance at the Oklahoma State Fair.
A mere 10 years after the brothers opened their first shop, the company boasted 310 locations across the country and in Canada. The traditional red roof was added to the design in 1969.
The 1970s and 1980s saw it attain more worldwide prominence with menu additions, international openings and a New York Stock Exchange listing. Also at during these two decades, Pizza Hut became known for its employment of more than 10,000 teenagers and its willingness to get involved with charities. The chain overall surpassed the 4,000 store mark during this time.
The 1990s brought more success for the chain, including the introduction of convenience store locations, lunch buffets and more.
Today, the Pizza Hut chain serves nearly 2 million pizzas a day in its 12,000 plus locations. It has an estimated 4 million customers worldwide and has even boasted delivery to the White House and to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
What began as a $600 venture in Kansas grew through careful nurturing to be one of the world’s biggest restaurant franchises.
The company’s success all falls on the shoulders of two brothers with a desire and determination to make a good pizza and a good living.
Copyright (c) 2006