DALLAS After various websites, from those of professional marketing gurus to that of gossip maven Perez Hilton, picked up on Pizza Hut’s use of the truncated “The Hut,” the chain was compelled to calm consumer concern over the weekend that it had changed its name.
“Pizza Hut is not changing its name,” Brian Niccol, the chain’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “We are proud of our name and heritage and will continue to be Pizza Hut. We do use ‘The Hut’ in some of our marketing efforts.”
Some speculated that the chain was attempting to get away from its pizza delivery heritage, especially after the success of last year’s Tuscani Pastas. As the pizza segment continues to get hard hit with slowed sales and rising costs, many brands have looked to new menu platforms, such as pastas and sandwiches, to spark consumer traffic.
Niccol had said in earlier interviews that “The Hut” also was simpler and easier for the “texting generation” to use. Mobile and Internet ordering has become another bright spot for the slumping pizza category, helping to spur incremental sales or higher check averages with little additional labor costs.
The shortened “The Hut” remains in test in various locations and will be used in marketing efforts.