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Daniel Oines, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Daniel Oines, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

15 Things You Might Not Know About Pizza Hut

Daniel Oines, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Daniel Oines, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

For nearly six decades, Pizza Hut has been slinging hot, cheesy pies to hungry consumers all over the world. There are more than 15,000 locations in over 90 countries, and Pizza Hut U.S.'s parent company, Yum Brands, is No. 713 on the Forbes Global 2000 list with an estimated market cap of $34.6 billion. Whether you're a meat lover or vegetarian, here are 15 things you should know about the popular pizza chain.

1. IT WAS FOUNDED BY TWO BROTHERS WHO WERE STILL IN COLLEGE.

Dan and Frank Carney borrowed $600 from their mother in 1958 to open a pizza place while attending Wichita State University. The name was inspired by the former bar that they rented to open their first location.

2. PIZZA HUT FRANCHISING WAS ALMOST INSTANT.

A year after the first location opened in Wichita, Kans., the Carney brothers had already incorporated the business and asked their friend Dick Hassur to open the first franchise location in Topeka, Kans. Hassur, who had previously gone to school and worked at Boeing with Dan Carney, was looking for a way out of his insurance agent job. He soon became a multi-franchise owner, and worked to find other managers who could open Pizza Huts across the country. Once, when a successful manager of a Wichita location put in his notice, Hassur was sent in to convince the man to stay. That manager happened to be Bill Parcells, who had resigned his Pizza Hut job in order to take his first coaching job at a small Nebraska college. Of course, he later went on to coach numerous NFL teams, including leading the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories. "I might have been wrong there," Hassur said of trying to convince Parcells his salary would be better as a manager than as a coach, "but I'm sure he'd have been successful with Pizza Hut, too."

3. THERE WAS A MASCOT IN THE EARLY DAYS.

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jasonliebigstuff, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0



Before the iconic red roof logo was adopted in 1969, Pizza Hut had a mascot named Pizza Pete who also served as its logo. The mustachioed cartoon man wore a chef’s hat, neckerchief, and an apron while serving up hot meals to hungry customers. Pizza Pete was still used throughout the 1970s on bags, cups, and advertisements, but was eventually phased out.

4. PIZZA HUT PERFUME WAS A THING THAT EXISTED VERY RECENTLY.

It was announced late in 2012 that Pizza Hut had plans to release a limited edition perfume that smelled like “fresh dough with a bit of spice.” One hundred fans of the Pizza Hut Canada profile on Facebook won bottles of the scent, and another promotion around Valentine’s Day gave American pizza lovers a chance to own the fragrance via a Twitter contest. The packaging for the perfume resembles mini pizza boxes, and a few surfaced on eBay for as much as $495.

5. PIZZA HUT EASY-BAKE OVENS WERE ALSO REAL.

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Children of the '70s were lucky enough to own small toy ovens shaped like the restaurant in which they could bake tiny little Pizza Hut pizzas under a 60 watt light bulb.

6. THEY STRUCK GOLD WITH THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.

When a group of crime fighting turtles that love pizza become huge pop culture icons, it’s a no-brainer that a pizza company should do business with them. Domino’s was featured in the first TMNT film in 1990, but ads for Pizza Hut were included on the VHS when the film hit home video. Pizza Hut also reportedly spent around $20 million on marketing campaigns for the Turtles during the 1990 “Coming Out of Their Shells” concert tour and album release. The partnership continued all the way up to the 2014 release of Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

7. THEIR VINTAGE COMMERCIALS ARE STAR-STUDDED.

An 11-year-old Elijah Wood got his start flinging potato salad at his co-star, Ringo Starr and the Monkees marveled at the stuffed-crust pizza, and former Soviet statesman Mikhail Gorbachev had a very odd, political pizza pitch, appearing along with his young granddaughter in a Russian Pizza Hut (though the ad was not set to run in Russia).

8. THE BOOK IT! PROGRAM TURNED 30 YEARS OLD LAST YEAR.

Pizza Hut on Facebook

In 1984, Pizza Hut kicked off the BOOK IT! program, an initiative to encourage children to read by rewarding them with “praise, recognition and pizza.” It was such a success that First Lady Barbara Bush threw a reading-themed pizza party at the White House in 1989. The program is now the “longest-running corporate-supported reading program in the country” and has reached over 60 million children.

9. THEY WERE EARLY TO THE PAN PIZZA CRAZE.

Pizza Hut introduced pan pizza in 1980, nine years before their competition, Domino’s, added the style to their menu. In 1983, they introduced personal pan pizzas, which are still the coveted prize of the BOOK IT! program and the only pizza option at smaller Pizza Hut cafes (like those inside Target stores).

10. THEY WERE ALSO EARLY TO ONLINE ORDERING.

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Screenshot via Pizza Hut



In 1994, Pizza Hut and The Santa Cruz Operation created PizzaNet, an ahead-of-its-time program that allowed computer users to place orders via the Internet. The Los Angeles Times called the idea “clever but only half-baked” and "the Geek Chic way to nosh." And, the site is still up and running! Seriously, go ahead and try to order.

11. PIZZA HUT'S PIZZA HAS BEEN TO SPACE ...

In 2001, the company became the first to deliver pies into space. Before being sealed and sent to the International Space Station, the pizza recipe had to undergo “rigorous stabilized thermal conditions” to make sure that it would be still be edible when it got there. Pizza Hut also paid a large, unspecified sum (but definitely more than $1 million) to have a 30-foot-wide ad on a rocket in 1999.

12. ... BUT NOT THE MOON.

Pizza Hut's chief executive Mike Rawlings told The New York Times in 1999 that an earlier idea for space marketing was for the logo to be shown on the moon with lasers. But once they started looking into it, astronomers and physicists advised them that the projected image would have to be as large as Texas to be seen from Earth—and the project would also have cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Better to stick with Super Bowl ads.

13. THEY ONCE OFFERED PIZZA ENGAGEMENT PACKAGES.

What’s the perfect way to pop the big question? In 2012, Pizza Hut suggested that grooms- (or brides-) to-be order the engagement party package that included a $10 dinner box, a limo, a ruby ring, fireworks, flowers, and a photographer, all for $10,010. In keeping with the theme, only 10 of the packages were offered. But, to be clear—if you bought a Pizza Hut engagement package, you would have spent $10 on food and the cost of a wedding on the proposal. 

14. THERE ARE A LOT OF REPURPOSED PIZZA HUT LOCATIONS.

Franchise locations of companies are not always successful, and when they close, the buildings are often left untouched by their new owners rather than being demolished and replaced. Because the hut-shaped stores have become synonymous with the company, their former locations are easy to spot. The blog “Used to Be a Pizza Hut” has an interactive map of ex-huts submitted by people all over the world, which the site tells mental_floss currently has 515 locations posted and over 200 waiting to be added. There was also a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a photo book—called Pizza Hunt—documenting the “second lives” of the restaurants.

15. PIZZA HUT ACCOUNTS FOR 3 PERCENT OF U.S. CHEESE PRODUCTION.

With all those locations and cheese-stuffed crusts, Pizza Hut needs a lot of dairy. The company uses over 300 million pounds of cheese annually and is one of the largest cheese buyers in the world—to make that much cheese, 170,000 cows are used to produce an estimated 300 billion gallons of milk. Something to think about the next time you order an Ultimate Cheese Lover's pizza with extra cheese.

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Live Smarter
The Only Way to Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ In a Job Interview
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Thanks in part to the influence of Silicon Valley and its focus on the psychological probing of job applicants, interview questions have been steadily getting more and more abstract. As part of the interview process, today's job seekers might be asked to describe a vending machine to someone who’s never seen one before, or plan a fantasy date with a famous historical figure.

Even if the company you’re approaching isn’t fully on board with prodding your brain, at some point you may still come up against one of the most common queries applicants face: "What is your greatest weakness?"

"Some 'experts' will tell you to try and turn a strength into a 'weakness,' to make yourself look good," writes Inc. contributor Justin Bariso. "That advice is garbage."

"Think about it," Bariso continues. "Interviewers are asking the same question to countless candidates. Just try and guess how many times they hear the answers 'being a perfectionist' or 'working too much.' (Hint: way too often.)"

While responding that you work too hard might seem like a reliable method of moving the conversation along, there’s a better way. And it involves being sincere.

"The fact is, it's not easy to identify one's own weaknesses," Bariso writes. "Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback—qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues."

Bariso believes the question is an effective way to reveal an applicant’s self-awareness, which is why companies often use it in their vetting process. By being self-aware, people (and employees) can correct behavior that might be affecting job performance. So the key is to give this question some actual thought before it’s ever posed to you.

What is your actual greatest weakness? It could be that, in a desire to please everyone, you wind up making decisions based on the urge to avoid disappointing others. That’s a weakness that sounds authentic.

Pondering the question also has another benefit: It prompts you to think of areas in your life that could use some course-correcting. Even if you don’t land that job—or even if the question is never posed to you—you’ve still made time for self-reflection. The result could mean a more confident and capable presence for that next interview.

[h/t Inc.]

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Words
This Is the Most Commonly Misspelled Word on Job Resumes
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by Reader's Digest Editors

Your resume is your first chance to make a good impression with hiring managers. One misspelled word might not seem like a huge deal, but it can mean the difference between looking competent and appearing lazy. A 2014 Accountemps survey of 300 senior managers found that 63 percent of employers would reject a job candidate who had just one or two typos on their resume.

Most misspellings on resumes slip through the cracks because spellcheck doesn’t catch them. The most common misspelling on resumes is a shockingly simple word—or so you’d think.

Career coach and resume writer Jared Redick of Resume Studio in San Francisco tells Business Insider that the most common misspelling he sees by far is confusing “lead” with “led.” If you’re talking about how you run meetings at your current job, the correct spelling is “lead,” which is in the present tense. If the bullet point is from a former position, use lead’s past tense: led. Yes, “lead” as in the metal can also be pronounced “led,” but most people have no need to discuss chemical elements on their job resumes.

 
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Other spelling mistakes Redick has seen pop up over and over again on resumes is spelling “definitely” as “definately” (which spellcheck thankfully should catch) and adding an e in “judgment” (“judgement” is the British spelling, but “judgment” is preferred in American English).

To avoid the cringe factor of noticing little typos after sending out your application—especially if your misspelling actually is a real word that spellcheck recognizes—always proofread your resume before submitting. Slowly reading it out loud will take just a few minutes, but it could mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.

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