"New" Pizza Hut

So, what do you all make of this and do you think it will work?

I think it will come off as another temporary gimmick just like every other month when they cram something into their crust. The logo looks like it was designed my the same people doing the new Pepsi product logos, cheap and bland. The task to take on all these changes over night and train the staff is going to be interesting. I’m predicting alot of mistakes and upset customers. I would bet they see a sales growth for Q4, but after that they will be back on the downward spiral and eventually Yum will sell them off.

They could have taken their existing menu and made pizzas with better ingredients, a good amount of cheese and price it at a slightly higher price point and they’d be golden, like they were in the 80’s.


I read an article about this recently as well, and it got me to thinking about the tension between offering choices and simplifying operations. What is the right fit for us as (most of us) independent’s? And more as smaller operators, as many here are.

My instinct is to actually continue to shrink my menu and remove things things that are not “superstars”. I would like to follow a more In N’ Out style model, where we just focus on making the best pizzas we can, but I wonder if my view of how my business should run is outdated? Or even if it isn’t now, perhaps it could become so in the future.

Part of me thinks I don’t need to impress people across 1000’s of locations and markets as a multi-national company like Pizza Hut need to, I just need to grab a small part of my local market. Part of me thinks people will find it refreshing to have a pizza place that actually makes…good pizza! But there is a part of me that does not want my business to leave something on the table or allow us to grow old…I have to grow old - the business doesn’t! I remember at Dominos (in the early 90’s even) when you could get Coke or Diet Coke, and just hand tossed pizzas. Now, I am not even sure if they are still a “pizza” company, but their sales have never been stronger.

I would love to hear other operators thoughts on the subject. I still lean toward and desire to keep things simple, but I keep my eyes and my mind open at same time.

Yeah i’m shrinking! i still have 110 items on my big ass menu and cant stand it. My dad is firm believer in you have to make everybody happy and he influenced me a bit to much when making the menu. our family’s last restaurant had over 200 items and it was just insane… ideally i would like to get it down to under 50 items. i like the idea of only doing a few things and doing them very well

We expanded our menu last summer to the biggest thing ever. 60 specialty pizzas, 60 toppings and or variants of toppings, 15 wings, 12 salads, 12 cheese breads. We are riding this for a few more months and then we are going to start knocking our the slow movers. That was the plan from the get go but I am having some second thoughts because sales have just blown up since since we expanded the menu. It is a bit too much to manage and it does affect consistency.

I always try for a health balance.

I define this as items that sell well, but also not to many that my average employee can remember how to make everything correctly.

Right now i have shrunk my menu back down to 25(?) speciality pizzas and 23 toppings, 5 sauces, wings, boneless bites, 3 different types of breadstixs, salads, soda and ice cream. Sometimes it feels like i am no longer a pizza place.

I have room to add items or speciality pizza’s, but if i add anything permantly i will remove the slowest selling item in that category.

Choice is good, but too much choice and customers will have problems deciding on what they want.

I do miss the days of 3 sizes, 2 sauce options and 12 items … god i feel old now.

Our original menu back in 1989 was

2 sizes 10" and 14"
1 crust, 1 sauce, and 1 cheese
Pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushroom, bells, onion, olives, jalapeno and pineapple. 9 total toppings
12 oz cans of Pepsi ( only Pepsi )

menu complete

that would make life soooo easy! lol

I see this major shift as a wild last ditch effort to try and save the brand.

I do not think they will pull this off properly with what I am seeing as our current labor force.

I like to keep things simple. Yes variety is good but i think of things this way… when I go out to eat at places that have huge menus I cant decide what i want to eat. It takes me forever. The server literally has to come back 3 times before im ready to place my order. I know its a pain for them but hey that’s what happens im sure to a lot of people. Keep it simple and do what you do really well. In my previous location we had a huge menu and it was a pain for the kitchen especially when you are trying to get items out at the same time. In my current location we are keeping it real simple but then again we are take out and delivery only and my previous location had dine in. But it also has to leave more room for error in the kitchen as well if you have too many items on the menu.

I’m with midnight rider,really trying to keep it simple and reduce,here is an example i’m struggling with currently,we offer new y style thin crust or artisan style extra thin ( which i think is great),people want to have a 5 minute conversation at the table when ordering, then order NY style anyway or they order the artisan and the cooks mess it up ! for our new location, NY style only, 10" 14", salads, wings hot or BBQ, garlic bread, maybe lasagne,scary but if it works, we’ll be fast !

Hi Guys.

A small menu is great if you can maintain sales volume.

A few years back a fellow opened a pizza shop in Detroit featuring a vastly extended menu. Ribs, fried Chicken, shrimp, fish and lots of other items.

I thought at the time he would choke on the extensive menu but he flourished. He now has over 40 shops all doing very well.

It appears that with the ever growing amount of pizza shops that, perhaps, expanding menu offerings are a way to distinguish your shop and expand sales.

George Mills

PH will still all be heat and serve coming in frozen even if they have all those choices. They have always had many options. They still wont gain any extra traction - only trial. Execution is still missing from their formula.

I have had upwards of 30 specialty pizzas but currently focus on 21 with many ONLINE only “hidden” offerings. I also created a 12 specialty Calzone menu (many of which are not on the pizza menu) which has in turn created a nice lunch and “singles” market for me. Salads are also a huge part of what is happening now…

Our small regional chain will be re-branding in 2015 as well as our competitive advantage in our clearly defined pizza segment (Big 3 territory) has us being “FRESH” thus we will be expanding our line of salads into a few more specialty items. Even going as far as adding a brand tag of “Pizza & Salads” to our brand. Moving our awesome product from “cheap” to something more appropriate when compared to our quality and the ability to move to the top of the prices vs Big 3 rather than below them.

So are you saying that I may not be a nutcase by combining traditional southern BBQ & pizza?


22 toppings (Includes specialty cheeses ricotta, Feta, Shredded Parm)
4 sauces (Trad, BBQ, White, Pesto)
4 sizes (12", 14", 16", Deep)

We do a lot of specialty combos built on these toppings and sauces.

Calzones, Strombolli (entirely pizza ingredients)

4 salads (garden, ceasar, chicken ceasar, greek) all pizza ingredients except greens and croutons.




Simple is good.

I heard of a story where on the boardwalk in California was a small shack that served on cheese pizza. They used paper plates. The owner would make enough for the day and close shop when product ran out. Now, I’m not sure it was a true story. It does show that if you make a product well enough, it does not matter how many products are on your menu, just as long as you do them the nest you can. What can end up happening is when the menu is too long and complicated, employees can deviate from the recipes due to their ideas or laziness. It does not always happen, but it can.
In our buffet, we serve the same items every day with five changes for the nights. It keeps inventory low, and it keeps everything simpler. We may sell one or two whole pies a day. We do not have a huge menu with room for error.

Google Galleria Umberto in Boston’s north end. They only sell sicilian cheese square slices and stop selling early / mid afternoon when they run out of dough. Their entire menu is about 5 items. Always a line out the door and check out their Yelp rating or for that matter any one of a dozen or so news articles about them. If you’re ever in the north end you have to check it out…

Pulled pork makes a great topping! I occasionally offer it as an LTO and it definitely has its fans!

I carry two sizes, one crust style, one pizza sauce, one cheese blend, nine toppings.

Four salads (and often a seasonal LTO- right now I’m serving an autumn salad of leaf lettuce, radicchio and sliced fennel garnished with dried cherries, Gorgonzola and toasted walnuts. The vinaigrette is made with Spanish sherry vinegar and walnut oil. It sells very well, but it’s seasonal.)

Four sandwiches (thinking of rolling out a fifth, might pull the plug on turkey)

Four pastas

Two soups (minestrone and another that gets switched up) and sometimes a third.