The Pizza Hut restaurant in Greenwood has officially shut down.
“We're sorry, but this location has been permanently closed,” the pizza chain announced on its website.
The restaurant, which had been operating in Greenwood since the 1970s, has completely removed the signage at its location on West Park Avenue.
Other nearby Pizza Huts, such as one in Batesville and another in Winona, have also been closed.
Greenwood’s Pizza Hut was owned by NPC International, which franchised 20% of the Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, according to Restaurant Business Online.
NPC International, the largest franchisee of both Pizza Hut and Wendy’s, declared bankruptcy early in July, even after sales improvements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced it was closing 300 of its stores and trying to sell more than 900 other locations. The Kansas-based company, which has accrued more than $903 million in debt, is one of the largest restaurant operators in the United States.
The company said in a filing that Domino’s — which has a location in Greenwood — and other chains have focused on enhancing delivery more than Pizza Hut has in recent years, which they believed hurt Pizza Hut’s sales.
Jon Weber, CEO of NPC’s Pizza Hut division, said COVID-19 preventative measures caused a financial strain on the business.
“These challenges have been magnified recently by the impact and uncertainty of COVID-19, and we believe it’s necessary to take proactive steps to strengthen our capital structure, so we have the financial flexibility to continue to adapt to current industry trends,” Weber said in a statement from July.
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