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This Beloved Fast-Food Pizza Chain Is Closing 300 Locations

This isn't a goodbye to your favorite pizza, but it may be a farewell to dine-in pizza nights.

Continuing the countdown of fast food franchises that seem to be in trouble, a major Pizza Hut franchisee is filing for bankruptcy. This spells the closure of hundreds of existing locations for the beloved chain and puts several hundreds more into uncertain territory.

NPC International, which operates close to 1,300 Pizza Hut restaurants, has filed for bankruptcy due to a $1 billion debt. As part of a resolution deal between the struggling company and parent company Yum Brands, NPC will close down as many as 300 Pizza Hut locations and put the remaining 927 locations up for sale. 

The 1,300 locations in question represent a fifth of all Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, but it remains to be seen which 300 are going to be closed permanently.

It only makes sense that the lowest performing locations would be the first to shutter their doors, but there is some speculation that Pizza Hut will give the ax to locations that were set up to rely on dine-in foot traffic. Due to the pandemic, fast food chains are pivoting to takeout and drive-thru locations with smaller footprints and bigger revenues, and the Hut is trying to refocus on those verticals of the business. The brand has reported the highest takeout and delivery revenue in the last eight years in May.

So while this isn't a goodbye to Pizza Hut, it certainly may be a farewell to family pizza nights at one of their locations.

The struggling franchisee also operates close to 400 Wendy's restaurants, but there is no word yet on whether the burger brand will be affected by the bankruptcy.

The news comes after reports that several quick service restaurants are struggling during the second wave of closures. Namely, Denny's, Dave & Buster's, Applebee's, and Cheesecake Factory could be announcing closures of hundreds of locations next.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more