You know that Pizza Hut is the largest pizza restaurant in the world, with over 12,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. One of the newer countries to the Pizza Hut family is Mongolia, which opened their first Pizza Hut restaurant in 2014—and since day one, they’ve made caring for the community a central part of their mission in ways both big and small.
Most recently, a delivery man in Bayarjargal turned a small mistake into a big act of compassion. It was the last order of the day, when he went to knock on the door of the apartment, there were no lights on and he couldn’t see the number on the door. He knocked tentatively, and the woman who opened was surprised and happy to see him. She had asked her husband to order pizza, and he had refused—and that’s when the delivery man realized he had the wrong apartment. He apologized profusely, but her disappointment was evident.
In Mongolia, it’s customary that if you visit a young mother who is breast-feeding, you should bring a present or gift for her. The woman who answered this delivery man’s mistaken address was in fact a new mother, so he promised to come back and closed the door. Two hours later—and using his own money—he returned to her address with surprise pizza delivery for the woman and her husband. She was absolutely thrilled, astonished, and gratified by the thoughtfulness of the driver.
As a part of the Deliver Hope campaign in 2015, a team from Pizza Hut also met the residents of an orphanage outside Ulaanbator, Mongolia, home to twelve children between the ages of 12 and 22. The relationship with the orphanage came about after the team heard the story of the founder, on a program about Singaporeans Abroad on the local news. The founder left her home country to answer a deep desired to help the unwanted, and founded the orphanage along with her morin khuur teacher, a local Mongolian in the community. Morin khuur is a traditional Mongolian string instrument, also known as a horsehead fiddle.
The orphanage is an exceptional program serving children who have survived unspeakable trauma and hardship and offered the team a unique way to give back to the community. Most children living at the orphanage were street kids who had either been abandoned by their parents or had run away from abusive homes. Ulaanbator is the coldest capitol city in the world, with seven to eight months of exceptionally harsh winter where temperatures can go below negative 40 degrees Celsius. Coupled with cold temperatures is a high rate of alcoholism across the country: a 2006 study showed that 22 percent of men and 5 percent of women in Mongolia suffer from alcoholism—roughly one fourth of the population. Hidden behind these stats are real, emotional, stories from the children of parents coping with the disease.
The team from Pizza Hut was touched by the stories of the children at the orphanage. One teenager, a 17-year-old who had been at the New Hope house for the past 7 years, showed off his exceptional pencil sketches. The highlight of the day was, of course, lunch at the newest Pizza Hut restaurant in Ulaanbator. The restaurant team planned an afternoon full of activities, with games, singing, and contests for the children, not to mention the best Pan Pizza. Cheers to Pizza Hut Mongolia for growing our legacy of giving back to the community to each new restaurant around the globe!
[Photo Credit: Pia Artadi]