Pizza Hut is embarking on a £40m expansion plan aimed at beefing up its business in the UK and Ireland over the next four years.
The company currently operates 419 stores but believes it can open a further 200 sites by 2020, the bulk of which will be run by franchisees. More than 3,000 jobs will be created in the process, it claims.
According to the Daily Telegraph, about 50 of the new stores will be so-called ‘Pizza Hut Express’ sites, which offer customers smaller pizzas in a quick-serve format. The business currently has 10 Express stores, having recently opened a site at the Westfield Stratford shopping centre in east London.
Experts say the move will see Pizza Hut mount stiffer competition to Domino’s Pizza, which has around 875 stores in the UK and nearly 50 in Ireland.
It will also enable Pizza Hut to capture a bigger share of the UK takeaway market, which remains in growth.
“We’ve built a firm foundation for the business since we opened our first delivery store over 15 years ago,” said Raphael Miolane, boss of Pizza Hut UK & Ireland. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without our franchisees and we are looking forward to growing our existing relationships, whilst also developing new partnerships to achieve our ambitions.
The delivery business is separate to Pizza Hut Restaurants, which Yum! Brands, also the owner of KFC and Taco Bell, sold to private equity firm Rutland Partners four years ago.