Over the years pizza has become so popular that there are so many chains, both local, national, and international that it’s a competitive industry, especially for takeout and late night feasting. Pizza Hut has survived in the last couple of decades because they did a good job of offering good value and edible pizzas. However, the recent new menu sees a price hike, with American inspired sides and pasta dishes at wholly over inflated prices, and pizzas that taste and look pretty dire. I would like to say the pizza tasted better than it looked in the photo, but I would be lying. A dash of chili oil swiped from the salad bar made it palatable. How can you get a margherita pizza wrong?
Pizza Hut used to charge for the salad bar, but then realized no one would pay extra, and with the increased government message of getting five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, they eventually included it free with all main meals. You can still just buy unlimited trips to the salad bar for £5.99, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. While Pizza Hut does have numerous offers, coupons and meal deals, does anyone pay the regular price? A six slice deep pan pizza with a couple of toppings leaves you with less than a pound change from a tenner, and a small basket of fries (not handmade) with some cheese sauce and a sprinkling of paprika powder is priced at £4.25. You can buy a couple of frozen pizzas at the supermarket that taste better. I can tell you most Americans would be horrified at not only the portion sizes, but the quality of the food.
The décor has been revamped ever so slightly to make it look more American, but it fails on so many levels as it’s been a ploy adopted by many places over a decade ago. It’s old hat, and sticking the cutlery in a pail is more of a pub habit, than a restaurant one. That’s fine if they want casual dining, but the prices and service should match that and neither do. It’s fast food that tries to look upmarket.
Drinks are where many places make money, and Pizza Hut has come up more milkshakes and American themed drinks. They look gimmicky, and may attract a certain clientele, but not the wise or those looking for a good meal. Overall, the new menu offers little in the way of anything exciting (garlic bread fingers—simply garlic bread in a different shape, and only heathens would have bacon on garlic bread). I would be happy if they managed to just do pizzas well, but now you only have the choice of an individual size or a sharing size—what happened to small, medium, or large? People like what is familiar, and getting rid of the medium size was a mistake. Some people like a medium to themselves!
Both my brother and I had poor quality pizzas that were expensive for the type of venue, and the side order was bland and a rip off—it was some frozen fries with cheese sauce (not even cheese) poured over it in a basket. Frankly, the local Italian would be better value and tastier, and maybe this is why my local Pizza Hut only had four covers on a Saturday night? Perhaps they are marketing to a select clientele which isn’t in my demographic, but if that’s the case they will lose many customers and it will become a sub-standard fast food chain for those who don’t mind (or don’t realize) poor quality food at above average prices. The price of two individual pizzas, a side, an apple juice and a glass of wine came to £28, and the best part of the meal was the house wine, which was one of the worst glasses of house white I have ever had.
Will Pizza Hut follow in the steps of Wimpy or wake up in time? Once upon a time they did great pan pizzas and I knew what to expect. Not now, and it’s sad…very sad.