Is Pizza Hut Italian? Real Pizza?

When someone mentions pizza, we often think of Italy – that makes sense, considering that this beautiful European country is the home to the delicious meal. So, it makes sense to ask ourselves whether the most famous pizza restaurant chain is also from Italy – is Pizza Hut Italian?

Pizza Hut isn’t Italian. This world-renowned restaurant chain is famous for its pizzas, but the franchise itself is American – the company was founded by Frank and Dan Carney in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958. Today, Pizza Hut is a part of Yum! Brands fast-food corporation.

If you’re looking for the best possible pizza experience, you should stick to real pizzerias. However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy option, Pizza Hut is a decent choice.

Is Pizza Hut real pizza? Pizza Hut pizza is not real pizza. The main difference between real pizza and Pizza Hut pizza is that real pizza is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and Pizza Hut pizza is made with lower-quality, processed ingredients.

For example, a real pizza would be made with fresh mozzarella cheese, while Pizza Hut’s mozzarella cheese is made from processed milk. Similarly, a real pizza would use fresh tomatoes in its sauce, while Pizza Hut’s sauce is made from canned tomatoes.

The result is that real pizza generally tastes better than Pizza Hut pizza. Real pizza has a fresher, more robust flavor, while Pizza Hut pizza tastes more processed and artificial.

Pizza Hut sign above the entrance in Cardiff, Wales
Learn all about the origin of Pizza Hut, the world’s most famous pizza restaurant chain

Is Pizza Hut Italian – What Is the Origin of the Famous Restaurant Chain?

You might be surprised to hear it, but the largest chain of restaurants that serves pizza doesn’t come from Italy. In fact, Pizza Hut is an American brand. The company was founded in 1958 by two brothers, Dan and Frank Carney – they opened the first of many Pizza Hut venues in Wichita, Kansas.

They were still students at the time, but that didn’t stop them from making Pizza Hut a huge success in just a few months – they opened another restaurant just six months after the first one. In one year, they had 6 Pizza Hut venues. If you think about it, their success isn’t unexpected – we all know how amazing the Pizza Hut concept is and how delicious their food is. I have tasted more items on their menu than I would care to admit. 

The Short History of Pizza Hut and How It Became What It Is Today

After the first business success, the brothers started franchising Pizza Hut in 1959. In 1963, Chicago architect George Lindstrom designed the famous Pizza Hut building style – characteristic roofs and letters. The founders didn’t hold on to their company for long – in 1977, Pepsi acquired Pizza Hut.

Twenty years later, Pizza Hut, along with KFC and Taco Bell, became a part of a new corporation named Tricon Global Restaurants – it’s in their possession to this day, only they’ve been called Yum! Brands since 2002. As you can see, there’s literally nothing Italian about this brand – well, except the general idea regarding food. I wasn’t particularly surprised to learn this, and I’ll explain why in the text below.

People eating pizza in a Pizza Hut restaurant
Pizza Hut is an American brand and undoubtedly one of the most popular fast-food brands

Can You Find a Pizza Hut Restaurant in Italy?

It might seem logical to find the biggest pizza franchise in the homeland of pizza, but believe it or not, there are no Pizza Hut venues in Italy. Still, even if there were, would you really waste your time during a visit to Italy in a restaurant that you can find back home? I surely wouldn’t – if there’s something interesting I would want to experience in this country, it’s their fabulous food. Let’s leave Pizza Hut for a regular lunch in America, shall we?

Why Aren’t Italians Fond of Pizza Hut?

Tourists may or may not want to eat Pizza Hut’s specialties in Italy, but trust me when I tell you that Italians definitely wouldn’t. Italians have a lot of strict rules when it comes to their food, and they take them very seriously – if you’re an American, the chances are that you break those rules on a daily basis.

I’m sorry to say this, but Pizza Hut also doesn’t exactly comply with the traditional Italian cuisine – their products are more “Americanized” versions of Italian food. For example, the famous pan pizza we all know and love is something you’ll never find in an authentic Italian restaurant. If you do, I suggest you get out and look for a better place to spend your euros.

Cheesy pizza with a thick crust
Delicious thick crust you can find in Pizza Hut definitely isn’t an Italian invention

What Makes Pizza Hut’s Meals Different From Traditional Italian Pizzas?

Pizza Hut offers a wide variety of delicious food, but as I’ve mentioned, a lot of it is something Italians would frown upon. I’ll remind you of the pan pizza once more – if you ask an Italian, that’s practically a sin. Still, there are many other differences between Pizza Hut’s food and traditional Italian cuisine.

Before I get any further, let me just say that I enjoy both American and Italian versions of pizza and pasta – honestly, these dishes can never be not tasty for me. But for educational purposes, I will list things you can find in Pizza Hut but never in an authentic Italian restaurant.

What to Keep in Mind If You Want to Try an Authentic Italian Pizza

If you’re a real foodie like I am, you’ll probably want to try all versions of pizza under the sun – and who can blame you? This heavenly meal can be prepared in so many ways that you can never run out of new pizzas. Still, I’d say that most recipes out there are not really Italian. In the table below, I’ve gathered some key differences to look out for, depending on the kind of pizza you want to eat – American or Italian.

SauceRegular tomato saucePureed fresh tomatoes
CrustCan vary from the deep dish, extra thick to thinAlways very thin, can vary depending on the region
MeatEverything, and it can be mixed on one pizzaAlways one type of meat per pizza
ToppingsLiterally everythingA few common things, but never too much

Although Pizza Hut Can’t Provide You With a Real Italian Pizza, That Doesn’t Mean Their Food Isn’t Delicious 

I hope my article has helped you learn something new about Pizza Hut and pizza in general. I have always been a huge fan of this magnificent dish, and I believe that all shapes and sizes of pizza are excellent. When it comes to Italians and their pizza regulations – well, sometimes rules are there to be broken. That’s where Pizza Hut comes to the scene – their food is fabulous, and I hope you’ll always have time for a slice of their delicious pizza. I know I will!