The above Miss Piggy photo was chosen to coat your corneas in glamour before I drop this devastating bomb: 300 Pizza Hut restaurants will permanently close after one of the chain’s biggest franchisees, NPC International, filed for bankruptcy last month. The specific restaurants and timing have not yet been determined, so this could affect any of us. To quote Joni Mitchell, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”
CNN says that this week NPC announced their agreement with Pizza Hut’s owner Yum! Brands. NPC owns 1,227 locations. They will close about a quarter of their least profitable restaurants, and sell off the rest. Once they shut down the restaurants, there will still be around 6,700 Pizza Huts in America. But still, it’s a hit. NPC went bankrupt thanks to a “perfect storm” of the pandemic, rising labor and food costs, and, uh, a massive debt burden of $1 billion. Yep, that’ll do it.
Most of the restaurants closed will be ones with dining rooms. Pizza Hut’s been shifting away from opening and operating dine-in restaurants for a while now. They’ve been encouraging people to order pick-up or delivery.
Pizza Hut says they’ll help their affected employees find jobs at their other locations. “Fat lotta good that does me,” grumbles Pizza Hut lifer Jackie from her faraway home in Soldotna, Alaska.
Pizza Hut said in a statement:
“We have continued to work with NPC and its lenders to optimize NPC’s Pizza Hut restaurant footprint and strengthen the portfolio for the future, and today’s joint agreement to close up to 300 NPC Pizza Hut restaurants is an important step toward a healthier business”
Huh. For once, I have to agree with a corporation’s bullshit statement. Closing 300 Pizza Huts will indeed make for a “healthier” business and a healthier America. I can trace at least 15% of my body fat back to the Hut’s greasy pies. If God is good, He will close the 300 Pizza Huts closest to me. “Thank you, thank you!” my poor, damaged bowels will cry, “There’s only so much diarrhea we can take!”