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Pizza Chains That Are Sadly Disappearing Across The Country

Pizza Chains That Are Sadly Disappearing Across The Country


With all the nation’s love for pizza, the
competition is fiercer than ever. Pizza chains are fighting for slices of the pie, and many
are closing stores left and right. These pizzerias might be in your town today, but there’s no
guarantee they’ll still be there tomorrow. In terms of American pizza chains, there’s
not many that have had bigger success than Pizza Hut. What started in 1958 as a small
pizza shop named “Pizza Hut” only because the sign could fit just eight letters grew
to a global brand. Not all is well with Pizza Hut, though, and
the brand known for their distinctively shaped buildings is in trouble. In August 2019, Nation’s
Restaurant News reported that Pizza Hut was planning to shut down nearly 500 locations.
Even with around 7,000 locations in the United States alone, shuttering 500 stores is no
small pepperoni. As for the reason that your local Pizza Hut
might soon be locking its doors, it’s all about how people are getting their pizza.
With the emergence of online ordering and delivery services like Uber Eats, not as many
people are choosing to eat their pizza inside a sit-down pizza place like Pizza Hut. There’s
a bit of good news: the company plans t o convert some of those old dine-in locations
to delivery/takeout units, so you’ll probably still be able to order a pizza from Pizza
Hut, you’ll just have to eat it someplace else. “Well that’s where I see things just a little
bit differently. Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor.” It’s rough for all-you-can-eat buffets these
days, and Cicis is struggling just like so many other buffets across the US. The pizza chain has been around since the
mid-1980s and offers customers unlimited access to their buffet for one low price, and while
that affordability certainly helps out families on a budget, it hasn’t necessarily been able
to keep the chain from losing stores. In 2018, New York saw all of its Cicis locations
close. The chain’s corporate office didn’t say why it shuttered stores in the Empire
State, but it’s suspected that the increase in the minimum wage was too much for Cicis
to handle. Grand Blanc, Michigan also lost its Cicis in November 2018, and Springfield,
Missouri lost its store after an embezzlement investigation. One possible reason for Cicis struggles may
simply be that customers want more than a product that’s cheap. According to Restaurant
Business, quick-service pizza chains like Cicis ranked in the bottom 10 when it came
to guest satisfaction and Cicis Pizza has seen its consumer satisfaction decrease by
6.7 points. While we’re on the subject about the hard
times of buffet pizza chains, let’s talk about one that’s got a big mess on its hands. If
you grew up in Texas or in the Southern U.S., there’s a good chance you attended more than
one birthday party at Mr. Gatti’s Pizza. The chain has been a Texas pizza staple since
the 1960s and has seen better days. In September of 2018, 13 of Mr. Gatti’s stores
in its home city of Austin, Texas were sold to another franchise group. That might not
have been earth-shaking news, but just a few months later in January 2019, the owner of
the pizza chain, Sovrano LLC, filed for bankruptcy. According to the court filing, the company,
quote, “failed to maximize revenues due in part to underperforming stores at several
locations.” As for the folks of the franchise group who bought those 13 Austin-area Mr.
Gatti’s locations, they later sued and argued they were swindled into buying a struggling
business. With news like that, it’s really no surprise
locations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Boonville, Indiana shut their doors around
the same time. Your local Mr. Gatti’s might be safe today, but with the turmoil the company
is going through, it could be gone any day. If you’re a parent who is struck with dread
every time your child gets an invitation to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s, we
have some good news. You may not have to go anymore. That’s right, the pizza chain designed
for kids isn’t quite as popular as it once was. The company has struggled over the last several
years, and found itself in competition with the advancements of digital gaming and the
overall decline of chain restaurants. Even trampoline parks are giving ol’ Chuck E. Cheese’s
a run for its money. As for the restaurants themselves, well, they’ve shut their doors
because of everything from rodent infestations to brawls. Yes, those violent altercations
between customers that occasionally make the media rounds can result in store closures.
Way to ruin kids’ fun, there, grown-ups. While those may have been incidents affecting
only a few particular stores, there’s also that viral internet rumor started to spread,
alleging that the chain recycled its pizza. Chuck E. Cheese’s said the idea that they
recycled their pizza was, quote, “unequivocally false,” but nonetheless, that sort of publicity
is never good for a brand’s image. When a deal is a little too good, it can come
back to haunt a brand. Take Little Caesars five dollar Hot-N-Ready pizza. It’s a great
deal for customers, but for franchise owners, maybe not so much. Those $5 pizzas were not a hit with businessman
Alan Knox, who closed all of his 21 Kansas City locations in 2018, because he didn’t
want to play along with the Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready deal. Knox argued that he couldn’t
make a profit at that price point. Kansas City did later see two Little Caesars open
in 2019 — they just weren’t owned by Alan Knox. It’s not just the Kansas City area that has
seen its Little Caesars locations vanish recently. Locations in Clemson, South Carolina, Victoria,
Texas, and Spokane, Washington have also closed their doors in the last year. While no reason
for the Clemson or Victoria closures was given, the Spokane Little Caesars was a victim of
being located inside a Kmart. Your local Little Caesars may be safe for
now, but if the company isn’t careful, the lucrative $5 Hot-N-Ready deal could seal its
fate. Todd Messer, a spokesperson for the Independent Organization of Little Caesar
Franchisees, put it this way: “The $5 price point … has become an unprofitable
business model for many and is fast becoming unprofitable for many more.” Papa’s in trouble, people. In November 2018,
the chain announced that they would be closing 51 locations, as sales had dipped almost 10
percent in the United States and three percent internationally. As for the reason behind
Papa John’s troubles, well, it’s been pretty well-documented in the mainstream media that
the chain’s founder, John Schnatter, got himself and the brand in trouble for using a racial
slur. Papa John’s worked to improve its image by
replacing its CEO and launching a “voices of Papa John’s” campaign, but that only helped
so much. Papa John’s current CEO, Steve Ritchie, hasn’t been shy about blaming Papa John’s
struggles on, quote, “the negative impact of media coverage.” There’s been some serious
damage done: the company lost $13 million in 2018 from the fallout. “That’s my box.” “This pie was found at a crime scene.” “My pizza never hurt nobody.” “Come again, sir?” A year later and Papa John’s was still struggling
to rebuild its brand back to what it once was. The company hasn’t closed as many stores
in 2019 as it did in 2018, but they’re still closing. According to Restaurant Business,
franchise operators are struggling to compete with other pizzerias in a crowded marketplace,
and are therefore they’re still facing some major difficulties. For mall shoppers looking for a meal that’s
a little more upscale than something like Sbarro, California Pizza Kitchen has been
the answer since its inception in 1985. Like many other casual-dining chain restaurants,
the chain is feeling the crunch of dropping sales as consumers look for other ways to
spend their dining-out dollars. As a result, California Pizza Kitchen has seen its sales
drop by 1.6 percent and it seems to be losing stores in its restaurant fleet. In the summer of 2019, the chain closed California
Pizza Kitchen locations in popular dining areas near Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Arlington
Heights, Illinois, and the only two locations it had in Washington state. The company remained
mum on the reasons behind the closures, but it doesn’t take a detective to uncover why
the chain is closing up shop in some areas. The restaurants typically operate in areas
with very high rents and, as in the case of its shuttered Manhattan location, sales just
weren’t covering the cost of business. In August 2019, the chain announced that it
would be trying out take-and-bake as a way to boost its sales. It’s probably still too
early to tell if this strategy will be enough to keep the doors open at your local California
Pizza Kitchen, so it might be a good idea to enjoy that BBQ chicken pizza while you
still can. Just a note to any future pizzapreneurs — maybe
avoid having “papa” in your name. Papa John’s isn’t the only papa having trouble, as Papa
Murphy’s is also struggling to keep their doors open. Papa Murphy’s is unlike other big pizzeria’s
because patrons only have the option of take-and-bake. While this approach might be good for saving
costs on things like labor and store size, it wasn’t enough to keep them from closing
97 restaurants in 2018. It’s never a good thing when a company has
13 straight quarters of sales declines. Papa Murphy’s is also struggling to handle competition
from other pizza chains, which results in units closing. In an age of online ordering, Papa Murphy’s
only jumped on keeping up with the competition through an online ordering app in the fall
of 2018. That’s a little late to the party and in a time when pizza-lovers want convenience,
who wants to order then bake their pizza? A make-your-own-pizza restaurant? A novel
idea, sure, but it’s a concept that’s struggled. “You remember that idea I had a few years
ago, about the pizza place where you make your own pizza?” “Yeah.” “What was that again?” “It’s a pizza place where you make your
own pie!” Since Blaze Pizza’s inception in 2011, it’s
climbed to nearly 400 locations and even attracted the attention of NBA superstar LeBron James.
But it’s seen some disappointing setbacks in that time, too. Two Blaze Pizza locations endorsed by James
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida were shut down in 2018 because live flies and dead roaches
were found in the food preparation area. As gross as that may be, South Florida isn’t
the only part of the country that has recently seen its Blaze Pizza locations close up shop. According to The Gazette, the chain closed
both of its Colorado locations after just a year in business. While the company didn’t
give any specific reason for why it packed up and left Colorado, the competitive Colorado
restaurant market was likely a factor. Pizza fans west of the Mississippi may not
be as familiar with the Marco’s Pizza brand as those in the Eastern part of the United
States, but the pizzeria has been around for 40 years. As QSR Magazine notes, it’s only
in the last 15 years or so that the chain has really ballooned and gone from 126 stores
to over 900. Still, there are quite a few examples of the
chain biting the dust with its rapid expansion. In August 2018, the pizzeria closed up all
of its locations in New York state as well two locations in Illinois. No reason for any
of the closures was given at the time, but opening up shop only to leave town in a hurry
without any sort of indication why seems to be protocol for this pizzeria. In April 2019,
it was the same story in Salem, Ohio when a store closed its doors unexpectedly. According
to the Morning Journal, calls were made to the company’s corporate offices in Toledo,
but questions as to why the pizzeria closed went unanswered. Maybe a Marco’s Pizza will open up in your
town, just don’t expect any sort of Dear John letter when they decide to leave. Perhaps you’ve heard of Pizza Inn. They’ve
been around for over 60 years, and are continuing to do well today. What you may not know is
that their much newer sister company, Pie Five Pizza, is going through some rough times. In recent years, Pie Five Pizza has gone from
being somewhat of a pioneer in the quick service pizza market to a company that is witnessing
its sales decline and stores close up. From 2015 to 2018, Pie Five Pizza saw its sales
drop a staggering 34 percent and the number of its stores shrink. Things haven’t improved much for the company
as of late, either. By February of 2019, Pie Five was down from around 100 locations to
just 65. The company has tried to shift gears from being primarily a dine-in business to
one that’s focused on takeout, delivery, and drive-thru, but how well that’s working is
debatable. Sales at the chain hadn’t improved by May
of 2019 and store closures in Texas, Virginia, and Missouri all reflected that. Who knows? At this rate, soon there may be
nowhere left to get pizza at all! Check out one of our newest videos right here!
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100 comments on “Pizza Chains That Are Sadly Disappearing Across The Country

  1. CiCi's in New York? Fagetaboutit! I'll go down ta "Amichi's" n get a meatball sandwich to go and have a slice while I'm waitin'. Extra gravy on the sandwich.

  2. When there are so many amazing pizza places around that aren’t chains, where the quality is ten times better and the prices are comparable, why would you ever order from any of these unless you have no choice

  3. Less white people in the US less pizza eaters. popeyes aint struggling. And neither are mexican food places. #newamerica

  4. Simple: Way too many shops opened up, next, each started cutting their price to compete with other shops for the business. Next, to deal with the price-cutting, cheaper less quality products used to make the pizza. The tasteless pizza which now seemed to be everywhere led many consumers to turn to other fast food products. Less profit, fewer customers led to closers.

  5. I can see why pizza hut is closing, 2 years ago I bit into a piece of pizza that had some of those little silica dessicant balls in it and nearly broke my tooth. Yes the same things you find in a little pouch of a new pair of shoes were on my pizza. Never went back.

  6. CiCi's is a joke any more. It's no wonder they're going under. Borderline edible food, and their "$5.99" buffet ends up being closer to $10 after you purchase a drink with it. If your local Pizza Hut has a buffet, just go there. It's literally cheaper and tastes better.

  7. Fuck pizza chains, get rid of all of them and get some local pizzerias in instead. In fact, get rid of all the burger chains too. All chain franchises, really. Let's get rid of massive corporations mass producing trash for cheap and get back to regular humans making food for other humans, and owning a stake in their own businesses. Enough slaving away for the benefit of the 1%. These parasites need to go.

  8. Pizza is like an eating product.Once you have tried everything on the menu, it is time to try something else. It is inevitable that any business that sells a product is going go out of business at some point.

  9. Pizza Hut have changed their menu and what you have for your money, that I've stopped going there not because of Uber delivery

  10. None. Most of them serve cheap garbage anyways. They pay their employees the lowest market wages & have such hi staff turnover. I will make my own pizza so I know exactly what goes in my pizza and toppings I like & don't have to wait for crappy delivery service. Most pizza companies dying deserve it so no loss. Thanks for asking & have a nice day.

  11. so basically we are just witnessing inflation but the price of the product stays the same, makes sense why they would eventually get run into the ground

  12. Does anyone else dip their pizza crust in milk or mayonnaise? It sounds weird, but it's actually really delicious!

  13. Papa John's actually tastes better than most pizza joints, but it's going to take time to rebound from the NFL disaster.
    October 2019

  14. Lol franchises close all their pizza locations in New York because they just can't compete with a real pizza place on every corner that is selling pizza by the slice for $1. Even the worst mom and pop pizza places in NY STILL have better pizzas then any of these franchises.

  15. Support local businesses as they live in and spend in your local area. Chains don’t give a damn about local communities they only care about the bottom line.

  16. I remember how good pizza hut was in the 1980s…
    Same with Taco Bell and a place called Taco Viva.
    Now both places are horrendous disgraces to the term "food".

  17. Here in Oklahoma City, we have had a lot of good local pizza joints go in that many people do not go to the chains as much. Many good places you can get a great pizza that you can buy by the slice.

  18. Pizza Hut use to be great in the 80's and 90's but they product is hot garbage now, I rather eat a frozen pizza over that shit.

  19. Two ingredient crust
    1 part yogurt
    2 parts self rising flour.
    toppings
    – pepperoni
    – sausage
    – mushrooms

    I dont need no stinking pizza chain.

  20. Pizza hut was too greedy, used dogshit ingredients trying to call them 'food'. Their stuff crust (which was really cheese strings inside) was genius and delicious! Pizza Hut's prices ended up going up & up to the point of a fucking rip-off!
    Dominos is killing it as they reformated everything about the company, and has killler prices. Their pizzas don't come with much cheese and it makes them suck if you dont add extra. $8 CND for a pizza is nuts!
    Buffets of the 1980's are AMAZING to a customer, and a nightmare for a business – extreemly high costs & wasted product & expensive labor.
    Chuckie-Cheese's use to have old-school arcade machines and a TON of them AND only brought in the BEST games made!
    I went into one 30 years later, and it was a fucking joke! Nothing but a dogshit plastic layout with no arcade machines. pfff!

  21. Dear Pizza hut…. your pizza sucks. You are also over priced. Where I live the two pizza huts, employees suck. Little Cesars though… way better than i remember and i choose them over Dominos or Pizza hut.. most of the time Cesars over Papa Johns too.

  22. I worked at cicis pizza it’s awesome to eat but what people don’t know is that we use the same artificial ingredients even the cinnamon buns are made of pizza dough. Don’t belive me? Ask anyone who has worked their. Screw you disclosure agreement!

  23. My Cics disappeared sround 2015 and I was sad bc it was good but the games they add stoped working and I think that might be it because either it burnt don’t bc of the breaker was wrong

  24. I honestly haven't been to a Gattis pizza in about 10 years, I'm currently 19. I didn't even notice but all the Gattis around me have closed.

  25. More like

    Pizza chains that have good pizza but not better than Toppers pizza

    Btw who else saw this in their recommended list

  26. Gino's Pizza & spaghetti house here in W.V is pretty good. So is Giovanni's. There is a place in the mall here that's been open for as long as I can remember. Don't know how they've managed to stay open as long as they have, given how expensive they are.

  27. Coming from Philly, and the entire northeast region. most of us dont care about these places or really even see them. local pizza is SO popular and thats where everyone orders from. i noticed when i was down south pizza hut was a big deal and i saw no local pizza shops.

  28. Little Ceasar's will go under because they fail to have "hot and ready" ready. It's now "hot after a 15 minute wait". You've diversified the menu WAY too much and too many silly apps and portals.

  29. Whenever your small town has a Pizza Hut
    “So your saying, I will have to go out, because no way grub hub will come here”

  30. pie five s near me, its not as good now as when it opened. store right by me is always from when i look when driving by is empty only one car from its worker. this is compared to the many cars when once opening. their pizzas i guess arent filled with a lot of toppings as once was as ppl complain about it as well as the quality of the pizza. for that price the hot n ready caesars pizza is twice the size. papa johns closed two locations in my area that were there for years. one of them was managed by a friend of mine. papa johns online would NOT send him online business from customers within his zone they sent it to a competing store which killed his business and his store actually had employees that cared how the pizza was made and looked. the other location had employees whom didnt, but thats why they are also not there due to many complaints. the new one open near me as per ppl i asked werent happy. i called and ordered. the pizza came to me all lopsided with the cheese half off the pizza onto the box.i took a slice of the side with cheese and it was cold as well. now i could have heated it up but it would have made more of a mess to remove it from the box so i called papas. their response was we will not replace it. also we will not credit the pizza but they WILL pick it up if not happy. i said then what will you do with it? there was no response to that. as long as companies have certain measures to their business and hire employees that are just there for a paycheck and do not care businesses will suffer.

  31. When I was in college our fraternity would go on road trips to workshops and conferences. Going to Cici's was a foregone conclusion. You pay $5 and can eat as much as you want. We would just absolutely destroy that place. Now that I have a job and some money I won't step foot in a Cici's.

  32. PIzza Hut charges about 14 dollars for a stuffed crust with one topping. If they were to go back to their original ingredient quality from decades past you would end up paying 20+ dollars for one pizza. Marcos pizza here in Ohio uses fresh ingredients every single day, and they are cheaper.

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