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Origins Of Top Businesses: Pizza Hut And A $600 Investment

This section of our site is called “Origins Of Top Businesses.”  

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.

These facts are given to you for fun and inspiration.
Fun because how many top businesses started out is really surprising.
Inspiring because it will help you as a business owner see that if they can do it, so can you.

Now for today’s facts:

the origin of pizza hut

  • Brothers Dan and Frank Carney borrowed $600 to open their first Pizza Hut in Wichita on May 31, 1958. 
  • The money was borrowed from their mother.
  • They started the business with a guy named John Bender.
  • It started in a small building at 503 South Bluff in downtown Wichita with secondhand equipment they bought to make pizzas.
  • The name “Pizza Hut” was actually chosen because the sign they bought only had room for nine characters and spaces.
  • On opening night, they gave pizza away to encourage community interest.
  • In 1959, Pizza Hut was incorporated in Kansas.
  • Dick Hassur opened the first franchise unit in Topeka.
  • By 1971, it had become the number one pizza restaurant chain in the world (based on both sales and numbers of restaurants).
  • In 1972, it became publicly traded on the New York Stock exchange.
  • That year they also went international by opening a restaurant in Costa Rica. 
  • In 1977, the franchise was sold to PepsiCo for $300,000,000.
  • It is now owned by Yum! Brands.
  • Because it was once owned by PepsiCo, Pizza Hut has a lifetime contract to sell Pepsi products.
  • The original Pizza Hut building was moved to Wichita State University’s campus because the Carney brothers both attended school there.


Sources: Wikipedia and

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.