According to the Times-Picayune report, the restaurants closed this week after a financial dispute between Pizza Hut and Lundy Enterprises, the franchisee for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge stores. This dispute has claimed the lives of two locations in New Orleans: 3500 Kabel Drive and 4903 Prytania St. (also, where on earth is the infographic for this article illustrating the net Pizza Hut loss? Maybe there could be a ... pie chart? I'm sorry.)
What went wrong? Pizza Hut says the franchisee was "unable to meet serious financial obligations to federal, state and local taxing authorities, as well as other corporate obligations left unpaid." So basically, they're broke, which makes sense: In the local pizza market, Pizza Hut doesn't really fill any voids. People who want real, high-quality pizza can go to Slice or order from Pizza Delicious. People who want something inexpensive, but not completely disgusting, can go to Papa John's. People who want a dairy-and-carbohydrate explosion can go to Domino's, which is leading in the area of hilariously unhealthy foodstuffs with items such as Breadbowl Pasta (but it's made with REAL cheese! It's loaded with saturated fat, but it's totally real cheese! From dairies!). At one point in time, Pizza Hut was the foremost innovator in the category of The Foods of So Many Daily Beast Slideshows with its Stuffed Crust Pizza — and later, the Stuffed Crust Pizza's morbidly obese stepchild, the Cheesy Bites Pizza. But these days, Domino's has left the once great restaurant in the dust of stale pizza crust.
Pizza Hut says it's just using this "rebuilding" time to give the southeast Louisiana market the "best Pizza Hut restaurants probably in our system," but until then Pizza Hut is no more. Let us remember Pizza Hut with this ad, reminding us of the good times, when the money and Synthetic Cheesy Crust Filling™ were flowing, back when they could nab Jessica Simpson (whose stock has also gone down over the years) for an ad. We'll miss you, Pizza Hut.
Actually, not really. I think we'll be fine.