Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fast-Food Giants Change Recipe for Success : Pizza Hut Bakes $50 Million into Taste Improvement

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fast-Food Giants Change Recipe for Success : Pizza Hut Bakes $50 Million into Taste Improvement

Article excerpt

Pizza Hut is investing $50 million to improve the taste of its pizzas while holding the line on prices as the chain tries to recover from what its new president called a terrible year.

David Novak, who became president and chief executive of PepsiCo Inc.'s pizza chain eight months ago, will introduce the changes in advertising next month that initially includes a money-back offer for customers who aren't impressed.

The new program calls for ingredients such as fresh rather than canned mushrooms and sliced rather than diced peppers and onions. It also includes meatier toppings and thicker sauce. "We are declaring war on low-quality, skimpy pizzas," Novak told a news conference held on the retired aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, which is anchored in the Hudson River and serves as a museum. Pizza Hut has been having a tough time for the last few quarters. It has failed to surpass its performance in 1995, when sales were swelled by the chain's introduction of popular Stuffed Crust pizza. …

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