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:
- 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.
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