Blame recession cuts. Pizza Hut is reportedly slicing the "pizza" from its name. The fast food chain will now be known simply as "The Hut."
The chain, which has recently expanded its menu beyond pizza to include pasta, could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. Media and advertising trade publication MediaWeek characterized the name change as an attempt to transform its stores into hip hangouts. There are more than 10,000 Pizza Huts worldwide.
The new "hut" stores will be more than simply places to place a delivery order, according to MediaWeek. They will include televisions that broadcast CBS programs such as "Wheel of Fortune" and "Entertainment Tonight."
The company has tried to become more hip and youth friendly in recent months. In April, it introduced the Pizza Hut "Twintern," an employee who uses the online service Twitter to update customers about store events and pop culture news.
This isn't the first time for Pizza Hut-parent Yum Brands to change the name of one of their iconic restautant chains, which include KFC and Taco Bell restaurants. In 1991, the company rebranded Kentucky Fried Chicken as KFC. Recently, to highlight the company's healthier grilled chicken offerings, the company has referred to the KFC brand as KGC.
In other news related to YUM, two California residents are reportedly suing the company's KFC chain for failing to give them a free grilled chicken sandwich. The customers are claiming that a sandwich giveaway promoted by Oprah was a "bait and switch" scheme aimed at getting folks in the door to buy other menu items, according to the Associated Press. KFC's were overwhelmed by demand for the sandwiches with lines often stretching out the door of shops.