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Pizza Hut Unveils New Fast-Casual Prototype

New format allows customers to purchase individual slices of pizza.

Pizza Hut Pizza by the SlicePizza Hut Pizza by the Slice

Pizza Hut introduced a pair of new fast-casual concept stores, in York, Neb. and Pawtucket, R.I.

The concepts feature a new menu option that allows customers to buy pizza buy the slice with portions cut from an 18-inch pie. "The dine-in experience is a very important part of our business, and these incredibly fresh, beautiful new locations further advance our desire to provide the best experience possible for our customers," says Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. "Plus, specifically in the Northeast where by-the-slice is more prevalent, this concept enables us to enter a competitive environment like that with a very competitive product that we think consumers will love."

The two locations highlight flexibility in the new prototype. For example, the York, Neb., location will highlight the in-store dining experience and seat more than 80 people. In contrast, the Pawtucket, R.I. location will seat roughly 30 people, as Pizza Hut expects the restaurant to primarily serve as a delivery and carryout operation, with the pizza by the slice segment augmenting business during lunch hours. Both locations will offer a pizza by the slice "bar."

The new, fast-casual concepts also include digital menu boards, deck ovens and an open seating environment, all twists on the company's traditional dine-in stores. Nearly half of all Pizza Hut stores in the United States include dining areas.