Operations

Pizza Hut makes a play for the late-night crowd

The pizza chain said that thousands of locations are now open until midnight or later as the brand eyes night owls.
Pizza Hut late night
"Thousands" of Pizza Hut locations are now open until midnight or later. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Pizza Hut is gunning for the night-owl business.

The Plano, Tex.-based pizza chain said this week that “thousands” of its locations have extended hours, opening until midnight or later as they target a late-night business that is soaring with the growth of delivery.

The company said some of its locations are open until 2 a.m. The company said that it has extended its hours in many locations to target younger consumers that are frequently looking for after-dinner meal options.

Pizza Hut said that its menu is available at late night for carryout or delivery and the company said it is leveraging its partnerships with third-party delivery services to expand its availability. The company also highlighted its Dragontail technology, which optimizes the time when employees prepare pizzas based on the availability of its delivery drivers.

It is the latest restaurant chain that is taking advantage of a return of the late-night business in a post-pandemic era.

(For more on this topic, check out “Chains find some success at late night.”)

That business all but ended during quarantine. And many companies were unable to bring the daypart back even as the pandemic ended due to a lack of available labor. Now that more workers are available, companies are extending their hours.

On top of that, diners appear more eager to order meals late at night, thanks largely to the availability of digital and delivery options. As such, while companies like Jack in the Box have been pushing to regain a late-night business they lost, others such as Wendy’s and now Pizza Hut are looking to get a slice of the pie.

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