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Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut closes several restaurants in Indiana, Ohio

Pizza Hut’s shuttered Indiana locations are owned by EYM Group, which has been tangled up in a lawsuit against its franchisor.

Pizza Hut has abruptly closed 15 locations in Northwest Indiana, as well as a handful of locations around Central Ohio. The Times of Northwest Indiana first reported the Northwest Indiana closures late last week after spotting employees’ posts on social media, noting that the locations are all owned by EYM Group.

EYM Group, which franchises 142 Pizza Hut locations across Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit against Pizza Hut in March, alleging a breach of contract. After multiple defaults, Pizza Hut entered into a forbearance agreement with the franchisee in 2023 versus terminating the franchise agreement. Pizza Hut continued to serve default notices and sent a notice of termination of the forbearance period in February.

EYM sued for “breach of contract, tortious interference with contracts and prospective business relations, and breach of fiduciary duty.” The franchisee moved for a preliminary injunction seeking protection from Pizza Hut’s termination of its ability to operate restaurants and more, according to court documents.

Pizza Hut filed its own lawsuit against EYM earlier this month, also alleging breach of contract. Court documents show that the franchisee defaulted on payments to the franchisor, including $3 million owed in late 2022 and $2.6 million owed in 2023.

EYM Group was founded in 2008 and is a multi-brand franchisee company of Denny’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Panera Bread. Given that EYM’s footprint doesn’t include Ohio, the Indiana closures appear unrelated to the abrupt closures in the Central Ohio market. NBC 4 reported last week that four Pizza Huts have closed around Central Ohio, including the Columbus suburbs of Dublin, Upper Arlington, Obetz, and Merion Village. Pizza Hut continues to operate 21 restaurants in the area, however three are operating under limited hours.

In a statement, Pizza Hut said, "While some local franchisee-operated restaurants have temporarily closed, Pizza Hut remains committed to providing outstanding service and products to our valued customers. The company is working to transition these locations and expects many of them will reopen soon. To find a Pizza Hut location nearest you, please visit"

Nation’s Restaurant News also reached out to EYM Group to learn more about these closures and if there are more to come.

Pizza Hut has navigated a challenging couple of years, especially compared to its biggest competitors. According to Technomic Ignite data, the company’s 2023 sales were $5.57 billion, a 1.6% increase over 2022 numbers. Comparatively, the pizza category as a whole was up by 3.6%. Further, Pizza Hut’s unit count grew 0.5% in 2023, versus 2.5% for Domino’s and 1.3% for Papa Johns. In Q1 2024, Pizza Hut’s U.S. sales fell by 6%.

In March, President David Graves left the company and Pizza Hut named Wendy's CMO Carl Loredo as his successor last month. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Pizza Hut. 

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

TAGS: Franchising
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