In 1958, Frank and Dan Carney were students at Wichita State University, in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Dan, at 25, was working on his master's degree in Business Administration and Frank was a 19-year-old undergraduate thinking of a career in Electrical Engineering. They worked evenings and weekends in the family grocery store when, as Frank recalls…
“... our landlady became concerned about complaints she was getting on the clientele of the tavern next to our family's grocery store. She wanted a nice neighbourhood business to occupy her building. Having read an article on the growing popularity of pizza in the Saturday Evening Post, she approached Dan and me with the idea of opening a pizza place in her building. Although pizza was relatively unknown in Wichita at the time, we decided that it just might work."
On June 13, 1958 the first Pizza Hut Restaurants opened. By September it was grossing $700 to $800 a week, by December, over $1,000 a week Pizza Hut restaurants number two and three soon followed.
Franchising began in 1959 when Dick Hassur, Manager of Pizza Hut Unit No. 3 signed the first Franchise Agreement. For a fee, he would have the right to use the Pizza Hut name and 'secret' recipes. He also would receive management assistance from the Carneys.
Pizza Hut Restaurants were patterned for growth. In 14 years (1958-1972) franchise and company Restaurants numbered 1,000. In the next three years (1972-1977) they numbered 3,000.
Home delivery is a fast growing segment of the pizza market worldwide, and Pizza Hut Delivery was developed in 1985 to compete aggressively in this highly competitive market.
Today, Pizza Hut is the largest pizza chain in the world with more than 12,000 Pizza Hut Restaurants and Delivery Units operating worldwide. Approximately 270 stores are located in Australia.