Categories
Design Fast Food Technology

Pizza Hut Unveils Futuristic Truck That Makes Pizzas While On The Go

The top requirement for us when getting pizzas delivered is that they’re still piping hot upon arrival. Pizza Hut’s newest delivery model will drastically decrease that time by utilizing a truck that makes the pizzas for you while en route.

Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut just unveiled the high-tech pickup truck as a collab with Toyota at the 2018 Specialty Equipment Marketing Association Show (SEMA). The pickup itself is zero-emission, running on a hydrogen fuel electric cell that powers both the engine and the oven. In a press release, the company describes the vehicle concept almost like an Uber driver whose car makes the pizzas once the delivery is requested.

As soon as you put in an order, robots in the back of the pickup will take a pre-made “raw” pizza out of a fridge and insert it into an oven, baking it to perfection within 6-7 minutes. It’ll then be sliced up, placed into a box, and ready for you to grab once the truck pulls up to your location.

Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut

The idea is that this will sharply decrease driving times but also increase where a truck can deliver pizza, too. One truck can essentially service an entire area for hours on end without having to return back to a nearby restaurant. It’s only constraints would be the amount of pizzas it can carry and the need to recharge.

It’s unclear exactly when these pickups will be used for actual deliveries, since the one debuted at the show was a prototype. However, when it is unleashed to the public, it’ll definitely change the speed of pizza delivery as we know it.

Categories
Fast Food Sweets What's New

Pizza Hut Now Has Cinnabon Mini Rolls As A Permanent Dessert Option

Cinnamon rolls regularly get attention over the years as different people learn that they apparently go well with chili. It makes sense, as the sweetness of the pastry and aroma of the cinnamon should pair well with the spices and flavors that are in the classic stew.

We see that interesting combination and raise you a different one: cinnamon rolls and pizza. Sounds strange at first, but the savory pizza has a lot going for it that could make it pair well with the classic baked good.

cinnabon mini rollsPhoto courtesy of Pizza Hut

That pairing can now be tested en masse thanks to Pizza Hut, who’s teamed up with Cinnabon for a new addition to their dessert menu. You are now able to order 10-packs of warm Cinnabon mini rolls as a sweet contrast to your hearty pizza orders.

While it may sound a little unconventional to have a traditional breakfast item for dessert, cinnamon rolls can play the role of both, and have already proven to be a great anytime treat that can pair well with savory eats.

Photo: Foodbeast // Constantine Spyrou

If you’re keen to try out this combo, it’s now on the permanent menu at Pizza Hut locations nationwide for $5.99. We’re thinking of trying this out with pepperoni first to get that sweet heat combo that cinnamon rolls and chili already has going for it.

Categories
Culture Fast Food Opinion Restaurants

The Best Pizza Chains Across The USA, Ranked

Pizza is one of the most ubiquitous foods across the United States, and we’ve all got our favorites when it comes to the go-to pizza spot. Whether it be that hit of childhood nostalgia or the crave-worthy blend of crispy cheese, buttery crust, and hearty sauce, slices of pie transcend cultural and dietary divides. You can find curry-topped pizzas, vegan pizzas, cauliflower crust pizzas, and everything in between all across the country.

When it comes to the providers, though, the stalwarts of sauced-up dough still stand. Hundreds of pizza chains, big and small, bring the pie to the people today, and some have established themselves as THE joints that will go down in history as some of the USA’s best. This is a look at the 10 best chain pizza spots that have and will continue to shape the country’s pizza scene.

In picking the names for this list, chains with more than 20 locations were considered based on national impact, popularity, size, quality, and any unique contributions they had that changed the way we eat pizza. With the plethora of options to choose from, plenty of top names just barely missed the cut, whether they be industry giants or high-quality upstarts. However, each chain on this list has been a pillar of pizza for the United States, and will continue to be for years to come.

10. Papa Murphy’s

 

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Papa Murphy’s has always been the bridge between Domino’s and Tombstone. The take-and-bake king preps everything for you to heat the pizza up at home, with no concern about any long cryo-sleeps it may have had in a grocery store freezer. While it seems like the age of delivery may have people moving past this once-disruptor, it’s still one of the top 5 earning pizza sellers in the US and top 10 in terms of popularity. They may not be in the public eye as much as some of the bigger players, but they’re still an impactful force on America’s pizza scene.

9. Cici’s

 

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The OG pizza buffet, Cici’s is responsible for one of the most American concepts out there. While others like Round Table have added the buffet to their menus since, Cici’s remains the originator and continues upping their game with new pizzas, including a mac and cheese topped one, to boot. Outside of Chuck E. Cheese, I can’t think of a national pizza brand who’s getting as out-the-box as that in their pie toppings department.

8. Sbarro

 

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We all know Sbarro as the hallmark of food court pizza. Whether it be at the airport or shopping mall, seeing one of these is a guarantee of hot, familiar pizza that we can all get behind. Its ubiquity and place in the food court space is unparalleled, and while the shopping mall scene is on a decline these days, Sbarro still brings in $609 million in revenue per year, good enough for one of the top 10-selling pizza chains in the country.

7. Round Table Pizza

 

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Round Table has been for pizza what Umami Burger once was for the burger industry. The pizza parlor brought a heightened level of quality and uniqueness of flavor to their pies that forced everyone else to up their game and go beyond the standards. It’s the place you’re willing to pay a little more at to get a better pizza, and the results show in the dough and the creativity in the pies. Like In-N-Out, they may be West Coast predominant, but it’s a name that is recognizable nationwide.

6. Costco

 

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All of the previous pizza chains have been huge for the industry, but none are as prevalent and pervasive as the wholesale leader. Costco isn’t even a pizza restaurant, and yet, droves of customers come to the food court just to get their hands on the signature pizzas. The right amount of grease combined with a craveable cheese blend and extremely affordable price makes Costco stand out, and it’s why their pie is the one you’re likely finding at the club meeting or quick family get-together. They’re not ground-breaking, and they’re not a giant in the field, but you somehow still manage to think of Costco when a last-minute pizza option comes to mind.

5. Blaze Pizza

 

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Look out, pizza world, because in five years time, this Chipotle-like concept could blaze its way to the top of this list, pun intended. As the fastest growing pie-slinging chain in the country, Blaze’s unique approach of gourmet toppings, customization, and the build-your-own personal pizza has been perfected. Even the originators of the concept can’t keep up with Blaze’s speed as they continue to spread across the country. THIS is where the future of pizza is heading, and the field of competition is beginning to pay attention.

4. California Pizza Kitchen

 

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Those who create a brand new pizza flavor that becomes so popular that every joint in the country starts carrying it deserves a top spot on this list. CPK’s national impact with their BBQ Chicken Pizza has been well recorded, and their infatuation with hot pizza ovens and unique toppings made joints like Blaze possible. Without CPK, we wouldn’t have had the same excitement around the fiery pizza furnaces, and we wouldn’t be pushed to think outside the box on what can go on a pizza.

CPK’s not done, though, as they are now quickly become the leader for gluten-free pizza nationwide thanks to their cauliflower crusts. Decades after opening, they’re still finding ways to stay ahead of the curve, which is hard to do in an industry as vast as pizza.

3. Little Caesars

 

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When it comes to size, spread, and popularity, all of the previous spots ranked pale in comparison to the top 3. That’s especially considering that at $3.5 billion in revenue, Little Caesars is the small fry on this list’s medal podium. However, they are the name behind the $5 pizza and do the simplest variations as efficiently and quickly as possible. With their recent moves toward automation, they’re also proving that they have the potential to catch up to the two giants at the top of this list. You’re never going to see anything really crazy come out of Little Caesars’ menu, but that’s because they don’t need it to be successful or competitive.

2. Pizza Hut

 

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The most shocking thing about Pizza Hut as the runner-up as that it’s not number one on this list. You’d think that The Hut has it all: savvy and trending ad campaigns, cool merch and activations, tons of deals that seem to never stop, and a pretty decent pie. Oh, and they also just took over the role of the NFL’s official ‘za.

Pizza Hut may be a powerhouse in terms of size, but what kills them is their popularity. Little Caesars has been ranked by consumers as more popular than the mega-chain, and The Hut is five times larger. Just because you have more locations and make more money than nearly everybody else doesn’t give you the top spot.

1. Domino’s

 

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What does make you America’s mega-pizza gold standard, though, is being the top pizza chain in both size and popularity. As of 2018, Domino’s is both, having surpassed Pizza Hut in revenue and popularity. They have the deals, growth rate, and quality to keep up with or surpass their staunchest rival in every category, and now have the earnings to back all of that up.

Plus, Domino’s has made itself the leader in delivery by going beyond the building. Their app lets you get your pie at tons of different parks or public areas, something that the rest of the major players in the industry struggle at. They’re even doing good for the local communities and paving the roads, which is one of the most ingenious ad campaigns a delivery company could think of. All of that has given Domino’s the ability to not just take over as the king of American pizza, but to sustain that title for years to come.


Featured Image: Foodbeast // Peter Pham. 
Categories
Cravings Fast Food

You Can Get Paid To Eat Free Pizza Hut, Here’s How

Pizza lovers, the job of your dreams just arrived. Those days crushing slice after slice, breadstick after breadstick, have all led to this — a job eating Pizza Hut for free while getting paid to do so.

A site named MyOffers is looking for individuals called Tester Keepers to go out, eat, report on the Pizza Hut menu, and submit some photos. According to the posting, you’re encouraged to grab some of your pizza-loving pals (or solo if you choose) and roll out to select Pizza Hut locations in the United Kingdom.

Man, days like this I wish my body could tolerate dairy. It just sounds like my college years, except I get paid for eating pizza — not the other way around.

The chosen applicants will get £125 ($165 USD) to splurge on pizza. At many of those locations, £125 will go a long way as the international chain offers a lunch buffet options (AYCE pizza, bread sticks, salad, and pasta).

Anyone interested in applying have from now through Aug. 31 to bust a move. All that pizza isn’t going to eat itself.

Categories
Adventures Fast Food

A Pizza Hut Museum Is Now Opening In The Chain’s First-Ever Location

Pizza Hut has a brand-new museum opening up for the public to get a slice of history. What’s cool is that the body of memorabilia will be held in the OG building The Hut first opened 60 years ago.

Photo courtesy of the Pizza Hut Museum at Wichita State University

The original structure debuted right outside of the University of Wichita (now Wichita State). Created by brothers Frank and Dan Carney in 1958, their small building did back then what the global conglomerate still does today: feed college kids. The first location has since closed down, but has become part of the WSU campus over time, and is now being made into that special museum.

Dan Carney, along with local franchisees, and Pizza Hut corporate, contributed both mementos and money to help make the museum happen. The building was relocated to WSU’s Innovation Campus and renovated so the roof matches the original Hut.

A university curation program will have WSU students acting as docents and will be responsible for updating the museum. Apart from all of the pizza trinkets, video screens will be playing to showcase an oral history of the pizza empire. A bust of Pizza Pete, the chain’s first-ever mascot, will also be available to take pictures with.

pizza hut museum

Photo courtesy of the Pizza Hut Museum at Wichita State University

Those interested in checking out the museum can do so starting April 30, when it opens to the general public. Admission is free, but it doesn’t come with any slices of pie, unfortunately. There’s a location on campus, however, in case you get a hankering for some ‘za.

Categories
Celebrity Grub Fast Food

Peyton Manning Sells All His Papa John’s Locations After They Split From NFL

Aside from Papa himself, Peyton Manning was the face of Papa John’s Pizza, as he swore his allegiance to them and even gave CEO John Schnatter a sweet peck on the cheek after winning the Super Bowl in 2016.

Well, it looks like maybe Manning wasn’t really about that pizza life, as he reportedly sold his 31 Papa John’s locations, just two days before the pizza chain split from the NFL, according to the Denver Post. In 2012, Manning went all in, acquiring 21 stores in the Denver area. Over the years, he built up enough clout to own 31 in total.

Papa John’s was the official pizza of the NFL, and Manning rolled with them for six years. Papa John’s gave the NFL legend a chance to show his silly, comedic side and they seemed like a match made in heaven.

However, Papa John’s took a little heat after Schnatter decided to make unpopular comments about the NFL’s National Anthem protests, later being personally endorsed by a neo-nazi website, and watching its stock fall in 2017.

In February, the NFL and Papa thought it best to part ways, as Pizza Hut swooped in and became the new “official” pizza of America’s favorite sport.

The fact that Manning bailed before the NFL split means he probably knew it was coming. Maybe Schantter and Manning met, said their heartfelt goodbyes, and gave each other a tender kiss before parting ways.

 

Categories
Design Fast Food

Pizza Hut’s Pie Tops Are Back, And You Can Actually Buy Them This Time

Pizza Hut is stepping back into the future with a new release of their Pie Tops, the sneakers that can order pizza at the touch of a button. Only this time, they can do more than just that, and they’ll actually be for sale.

Photo: Pizza Hut

The Hut teamed up with the famous Shoe Surgeon again to fashion their new kicks, which come in two sleek colors alongside some extra new tech. They’re available in a wheat-based colorway (pictured left) or bright red (on the right). The shoe’s tongue, like last time, will allow you to order your favorite pizza at the push of a button. You’ll need to link the shoes to your phone through a Pie Tops app to make this happen.

The other shoe will also have a smart button that can pause your TV if you’re too lazy to reach for the remote. The Pie Tops can link through TVs to the following cable providers:

Spectrum (Motorola, Moxi, Scientific Atlanta, Pace, Humax)

DirectTV (Genie, HD DVR, DVR, Genie Lite)

XFinity (Motorola, Pace, Scientific Atlanta, Cisco)

Dish (Dish Hardware)

Fios (Arris, Motorola)

Unlike last year, the public will have the opportunity to score these shoes for themselves. On March 21st, 50 pairs will go up for sale on Hypebeast’s HBX e-commerce site at 8 am PST. If you want to score a pair of these sneakers, make sure to hit up HBX then.


UPDATE: After selling out in less than 10 seconds on HBX, there are still a few Pie Tops out there that Pizza Hut is giving out. 40 pairs will be given out for free at the Pizza Hut Pie Tops Pop-Up and NCAA Slam Dunk Contest at the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest, happening March 30th-April 2nd in San Antonio. Fans who attend will be entered in a chance to win these sneakers.

Additionally, 4 more pairs are being auctioned away now on eBay. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Literacy Project. The available sizes are men’s size 7, 10, 11, and 12. Each of these pairs, which are currently standing at about $700-$900 each in the auctions, also come with free pizza for a year (in the form of $520 of Pizza Hut gift cards). The auctions are all now live and will run through April 2nd.

Categories
FOODBEAST News

Pizza Hut Scores New NFL Sponsorship, Replacing Papa John’s

 

The National Football League has officially traded Papa John’s for Pizza Hut as its official pizza sponsor.

After eight years together, the dissolution of the sponsorship between Papa John’s and the NFL may have been something to be expected for some time now. Papa John’s has been under fire since November 2017 when former CEO John Schnatter blamed poor pizza sales on the National Anthem protests by NFL players. According to Bangor Daily News, Schnatter blamed poor leadership from higher officials of the NFL for the players who knelt during the National Anthem to protest against racial discrimination, injustice, and inequality. Tension continued to build as Neo-Nazis claimed Papa John’s as the “Official Pizza of Aryan Race,” and eventually, Schnatter stepped down from his position in January 2018.

However, Papa John’s isn’t totally nixed from any involvement with the NFL. According to the Washington Post, there will continue to be partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, and will focus on a “presence in broadcast and digital media and key personalities in the sport.”

Nevertheless, the NFL seems to have made the best, most logical choice in choosing Pizza Hut to be it’s newest official pizza for the next four years, starting April 2018. The pizza giant is the largest pizza chain in the United States, totaling over 7,200 locations, according to the Washington Post.

“We know many of our fans enjoy pizza while watching NFL games and we are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America’s favorite brands, as an official league sponsor,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in an official statement. “With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans.”

If an “at-home NFL experience” is what they’re aiming for, Pizza Hut may already have the ball rolling. After all, Pizza Hut has been testing out beer and wine delivery, allowing consumers to kill two birds with one stone. But sensing from the enthusiasm of Artie Starrs, President of Pizza Hut U.S., that may just be the beginning.

“Pizza Hut has a history of bringing more entertaining food and experiences to the pizza occasion and we plan to continue that through our exclusive partnership with the NFL,” said Starrs. “The capacity for what’s possible is endless and that’s going to make this league partnership great fun for Pizza Hut, the NFL and everyone who loves pizza and football.”