Pizza Hut was started in 1958, by two brothers in Wichita, Kansas. Frank and Dan Carney had the idea to open a pizza parlor. They borrowed $600 from their mother, and opened the very first Pizza Hut. In 1959, the first franchise unit opened in Topeka, Kansas. Almost a decade later, Pizza Hut would be serving one million customers a week in their 310 locations. In 1970, Pizza Hut was put on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PIZ.

  In 1986, Pizza Hut introduced delivery service, something no other restaurant was doing. By the 1990's Pizza Hut sales had reached $4 billion worldwide. In 1998, Pizza Hut celebrated their 40th anniversary, and launched their famous campaign "The Best Pizzas Under One Roof." In 1996, Pizza Hut sales in the United States were over $5 million. Out of all the existing pizza chains, Pizza Hut had the largest market share, 46.4%. However, Pizza Hut's market share has slowly eroded because of intense competition from their rivals Domino's, Little Caesar's and newcomer Papa John's. Home delivery was a driving force for success, especially for Pizza Hut and Domino's.

  However, this forced competitors to look for new methods of increasing their customer bases. Many pizza chains decided to diversify and offer new non-pizza items such as buffalo wings, and Italian cheese bread. The current trend in pizza chains today is the same. They all try to come up with some newer, bigger, better, pizza for a low price. Offering special promotions and new pizza variations are popular today as well. For example, chicken is now a common topping found on pizzas.

  In the past, Pizza Hut has always had the first mover advantage. Their marketing strategy in the past has always been to be first. One of their main strategies that they still follow today is the diversification of the products they offer. Pizza Hut is always adding something new to their menu, trying to reach new markets. For example, in 1992 the famous buffet was launched in Pizza Hut restaurants worldwide. They were trying to offer many different food items for customers who didn't necessarily want pizza.

  Another strategy they used in the past and are still using is the diversification of their pizzas. Pizza Hut is always trying to come up with some innovative way to make a pizza into something slightly different - different enough that customers will think it’s a whole new product. For example, let's look at some of the pizzas Pizza Hut has marketed in the past. In 1983, Pizza Hut introduced their Pan Pizza, which had a guarantee of being ready to eat in 5 minutes when dining at Pizza Hut restaurants. In 1993, they introduced the "BigFoot," which was two square feet of pizza cut into 21 slices. In 1995, they introduced "Stuffed Crust Pizza," where the crust would be filled with cheese. In 1997, they marketed "The Edge," which had cheese and toppings all the way to the edge of the pizza. Currently, they are marketing "The Big NewYorker," trying to bring the famous New York style pizza to the whole country.

  Another opportunity that Pizza Hut has is their new ordering online system. Anyone with Internet access can order whatever they wish and get it delivered to their house without even speaking to someone. This program has just been started, so we do not have any numbers to support whether or not it will be a success.

  Lastly, Pizza Hut has always valued customer service and satisfaction. In 1995, Pizza Hut began two customer satisfaction programs: a 1-800 number customer hotline, and a customer call-back program. These were implemented to make sure their customers were happy, and always wanted to return. In our plan, we will first give a situation analysis of current and relevant environmental conditions that affect our plan. Next, we will give a brief analysis of the current fast food industry, and any trends or changes that might occur in the future.

  However, the fact that Pizza Hut does have a restaurant to run is also a weakness. Pizza Hut has higher overhead costs, due to the restaurant that other competitors don't have to deal with. Another result of higher overhead costs is higher prices Pizza Hut must charge. Obviously, Pizza Hut is not the low cost producer. They rely on their quality pizza and good service to account for their higher prices.

  An indirect weakness that Pizza Hut has is that they have lost a lot of their customers and market share due to such intense competition with competitors. Pizza Hut's opportunities are almost endless. They can increase revenue with their new innovative pizzas, and increase brand loyalty with good customer service.

  Pizza Hut's number one threats are from their competitors. Currently, their closest competitor is Domino's Pizza. Domino's main competitive advantage over Pizza Hut is their price. It is generally lower than Pizza Hut. Also, Domino's was very profitable when they ran the promotional deal of delivering a pizza within 30 minutes. However, many lawsuits have been filed against Domino's in the past for reckless driving by their drivers, so Domino's withdrew the promotion. Little Caesar's is another one of Pizza Hut's competitors, right behind Domino's in market share. Little Caesar's is famous for offering large quantities of pizza for less money. Other competitors include Papa John's, Sbarro, and Pizza Inn.

  A problem facing all of the pizza chains is that each of their individual competitive advantages are pretty much everyone's competitive advantages. Most if not all the top pizza chains offer free delivery, and always have some sort of promotional deal offering large pizzas at reduced prices. Other competitors to take into consideration are frozen pizzas and make-it-yourself pizzas that are purchased in grocery stores. Some examples of these are Tombstone Pizzas, Boboli, and Di'Gornio pizzas.

  1. Pizza Hut expanded its business into many parts of the country by the time of 1969.

  2. Pizza Hut has always dominated the market and is free of challenge.

  3. Fruits and salads are now commonly served at pizza restaurants.

  4. The diversification strategy is to be the first mover.

  5. In Pizza Hut, a Pan Pizza was ___________ to serve in 5 minutes.

  6. If you want a pizza from Pizza Hut delivered directly to your house, you have to have ________ in the first place.

  7. In order to make sure their customers were happy, Pizza Hut introduced ________________.

  8. The higher overhead costs of Pizza Hut obviously accounted for ______________.

  9. The reason why Domino’s withdrew their promotion was that they suffered legally from _____________.

  10. Major pizza makers have to face the problem that their competitive advantages are _________.
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