In the 1980s, Pizza Hut was much more than a home delivery chain. Its dine-in restaurants formed a staple Saturday night for many Australian families. Sadly, by the mid-90s, most of these pizzerias had shut down due to rising real estate costs and changing dining habits. If you miss the days of all-you-can-eat buffets and bottomless soft drinks, we have some stirring news – Pizza Hut is looking to relaunch sit-down restaurants Down Under. Hurrah!
It’s fair to say that Pizza Hut – once the king of fast food pizza in Australia – has been left in Domino’s dust in recent years. Superior online technoloies coupled with inovative hardware announements has seen Domino’s Pizza steadily increase its market share at the expense of its competitors.
In addition to buying out the struggling Eagle Boys, Pizza Hut is exploring a return to dine-in restaurants as part of its fightback. Instead of trying to match Domino’s online dominance, the chain is switching gears and appealing to Aussie nostagia.
Speaking to news.com.au, Pizza Hut’s freshly-minted CEO Lisa Ransom explained that the famous all-you-can-eat buffet could be making a return.
“There’s a great deal of heritage in the brand and we are looking at ways to do things differently. We get a lot of demand for dine-in restaurants and we’ll absolutely be looking at those opportunities moving forward,” Ransom said. “We still do have some restaurants but there’s not many anymore and I think there’s still life in that concept.”
“Not many” is an understament. Currently, there are only 15 dine-in Pizza Huts across Australia. During its hey day, the chain had multiple restaurants in every metroplitan city.
For those who are too young to remember, Pizza Hut’s dine-in restaurants featured an all-you-can-eat buffet of revolving pizza flavours, alongside pasta, salads, a dessert bar and self-serve soft drinks. You could also order delicious Italian subs, long before Subway launched in Australia.