Fort Dodge Pizza Hut changes location

Move brings a new concept to Corridor of Commerce

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge Pizza Hut manager Jeaannie McKinney holds a sign for their new Express Lunch in the dining area of their new location at 2516 Fifth Ave. S.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Fort Dodge Pizza Hut manager Jeaannie McKinney holds a sign for their new Express Lunch in the dining area of their new location at 2516 Fifth Ave. S.

The city’s Corridor of Commerce has welcomed a new incarnation of one of the booming thoroughfare’s longtime businesses. Pizza Hut has moved from 2940 Fifth Ave. S. to a new home at 2516 Fifth Ave. S., a short distance west of its former location.

The popular restaurant began operations at the new site on Dec. 20, 2017.

The store will celebrate its relaunch with a grand opening on Jan. 18. There will also be a Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance ribbon cutting that day.

The franchise for the Fort Dodge Pizza Hut is owned by Overland, Kansas-based NPC International. Pam Seuferling, a senior marketing director with that company, said the goal of the relocation is to bring a new Pizza Hut concept to the community.

“It is a brand-new building,” she said. “It’s a fresh new look. It has an open look. It is inviting for the customers. They can see what’s going on as the pizzas are being prepared. I think folks will really like that open concept so they can see what’s going on. It’s certainly a customer-friendly environment.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

The Fort Dodge Pizza Hut is now open at its new location at 2516 Fifth Ave. S.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
The Fort Dodge Pizza Hut is now open at its new location at 2516 Fifth Ave. S.

Seuferling said the visual appeal of the store has been enhanced both on its exterior and inside.

“It’s a more updated look. A more updated appeal,” she said. “It looks more modern, a little more contemporary.”

Just as it has for many years, the Fort Dodge Pizza Hut will offer customers the options of dining in the restaurant, ordering for carryout or having food delivered to their home or business. The company’s outlets vary in terms of which option tends to be favored by patrons.

“In Fort Dodge it is a pretty balanced mix of dine-in, carryout and delivery,” Seuferling said.

An innovation at the re-imagined Pizza Hut in Fort Dodge will be the availability of a lunch option that may be appealing to busy people who need to get a quality meal quickly.

“We started a program called an Express Lunch,” Seuferling said, noting that the new building facilitates providing this new offering. “We have a limited number of items that can be prepared very fast — in about five minutes — to allow people to get in and get out. It appeals to the person who is looking for a value lunch and a quick, speedy lunch at the same time.”

She said one of the constants at the local Pizza Hut is its leadership. General Manager Jeannie McKinney, who has been with the company for 15 years, remains at the helm.

“Due to fact that the manager has been there for a long time, she brings a very strong neighborhood appeal to the Fort Dodge Pizza Hut,” Seuferling said. “She knows her customers.”

The menu will continue to feature many of the items that have kept fans coming back to Pizza Hut for decades. It also will have changes from over time.

“We have sometimes changed toppings,” Seuferling said. “We periodically change crusts. We sometimes change sauces that are available. We freshen the menu periodically with new items that are limited-time offerings. Pizza Hut is well-known for innovation.”

The Fort Dodge Pizza Hut will continue to show that it is a good corporate citizen by assisting local nonprofit groups that need to raise funds to support their particular endeavor.

“With our fundraising program you would select a specific night,” Seuferling said. “We would create vouchers for the group to pass out. The vouchers work for dine-in, delivery and carryout. The group makes a percentage of the proceeds. They can make up to 20 percent of the proceeds, so it is a good program.”

About NPC International

Pizza Hut got its start in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas.

NPC opened its first Pizza Hut restaurant in 1962.

Today, there are 16,000 Pizza Hut outlets in 100 countries.

In the United States, NPC International is a big part of the Pizza Hut story. It has more than 1,144 Pizza Hut stores in 27 states. NPC is the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the world. It operates 20 percent of the domestic Pizza Hut system.

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