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Pizza Hut set to close 500 dine-in locations nationwide

The restaurant chain wants to focus on its delivery and carryout outlets.
An example of a classic Pizza Hut restaurant.

An example of a classic Pizza Hut restaurant.

Pizza Hut is planning to close as many as 500 locations as part of its company transformation efforts.

The news was announced last week by David Gibbs, the president and COO of its parent company, Yum! Brands.

As WHTR reports, all of the locations that will be closing down are dine-in restaurants, with the company shifting its focus onto its smaller Pizza Hut Express delivery and carryout locations.

"We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets," Gibbs said. 

"This will ultimately strengthen the Pizza Hut business in the U.S. and set it up for a faster long-term growth."

Pizza Hut has just under 7,500 locations in the U.S., but built its name around its distinctive red-roofed dine-in restaurants of which it now has 6,100.

There are 114 of these locations in Minnesota, a mixture of dine-in and Express eateries that are spread across every corner of the state.

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At this stage, Pizza Hut has not identified which of its locations will be closing, but has said it will be "under-performing" locations that are destined for the chop.

In the long-run, the company intends to open more Express outlets, though admitted its store numbers will reduce to around 7,000 in the meantime.

Yahoo News reports that Pizza Hut has been hit as more and more restaurants now offer online delivery, as well as the rise of online delivery services (such as Bite Squad in Minnesota) that have exposed diners with a wider variety of takeout delivery options.

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