Pizza Hut could close 400-500 locations over the next year

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Pizza Hut may close between 400 and 500 store locations over the next year.

It is unclear whether any locations in Casper or Wyoming will be affected.

The news of possible closures came in remarks made by Yum! Brands President David Gibbs in a second quarter 2019 earnings report conference call on August 1.

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Yum! operates Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC.

“Our U.S. store count could drop to as low as 7,000 locations over the next 24 months, primarily driven by closures of underperforming dine-in restaurants, before rebounding to current levels or above in the future,” Gibbs said in the call.

Most of the locations affected would be traditional dine-in stores as Pizza Hut transitions to emphasize delivery and express services.

Gibbs said in the call that Pizza Hut had 7,449 locations at the end of the quarter. 6,100 of those locations were traditional style locations, with 1,350 express locations.

In response to a question during the call, Gibbs said, “It is hard to estimate the timing.”

He did not provide details about what regions may be affected by the closures.

Oil City attempted to reach out to Yum! and Pizza Hut’s corporate media relations. They did not respond immediately on Friday, Aug. 9.

Store managers at Casper area Pizza Huts did not provide details and directed Oil City to call corporate offices to request information.