The Big Apple may be known for its plentiful local pizza shops serving homemade slices, but New York will soon see an influx of fast food options — as Pizza Hut, the multinational chain, is opening 10 new locations in the five boroughs.
With 10 new locations coming in 2024, Pizza Hut is dramatically expanding its footprint in the Big Apple, and will almost triple the number of storefronts they operate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As first reported by Crains, the move is an unusual one for fast food chains, which are almost universally behind their pre-pandemic levels.
It is also a big bet that New York, which is home to world-class pizza shops like Sal & Carmine’s and L&B Spumoni Gardens, is ripe for disruption in the pizza market.
The first Pizza Hut opened in Manhattan in 1989 with an “express” takeout location, and they have expanded their footprint ever since.
The chain opened their first “full-menu restaurant” in Manhattan last year in Washington Heights, after previously operating only small takeout locations in that borough while limiting sit-down locations to the outer boroughs. Now, though, at least some of the planned 10 new locations will be in Manhattan and offer in-house dining, with rotating specials and possibly table service, Crains reported.
Their move further into New York’s food market does not just set them apart from other fast food joints in New York, it is actually counter to Pizza Hut’s strategy elsewhere in the country — where they’ve been decreasing their footprint around the 50 states.
One possible advantage that Pizza Hut will lean on with their new locations in New York is their late hours and proclivity towards deliveries.
While New York’s classic pizza parlors often close around 10 p.m., Pizza Hut locations are typically closed at 2 a.m., at the earliest — giving them a significant opportunity in the late-night market.
The chain also utilizes its own online ordering system, allowing it to cut out pricey delivery fees from third-party apps like GrubHub or UberEats.
Adding to the possible reasons that Pizza Hut, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, would move further into New York is the tons of newly available retail space — as other commercial storefronts have closed, rents have dropped for chains looking to expand their footprint in those now-unused spaces.
Either way, New Yorkers will soon have more options for gooey cheese and tomato sauce on baked dough.