We are diving into the next chapter in Pizza Hut’s Quality Story by shining the spotlight on the building blocks of any great pizza.
Making pizzas with shredded cheese may seem like a no-brainer now, but it was the Carney brothers’ request for a way to optimize the pizza building process that led to the change. Pizza Hut restaurants used to receive whole slices of LePrino’s 100 percent mozzarella cheese (think sandwich slices). But as the company grew, we needed a more consistent way to spread the cheese on top of the sauce which would provide the customer with a more even covering of cheesy goodness. This challenge lead LePrino to send over a bag of shredded cheese. This shaved valuable time off of the build process, allowed the cheese to melt evenly and altered the way pizzas were made forever.
Our operational needs affect not only how we receive ingredients, but also the timing. We are looking to get all of our ingredients at their best, so that means picking tomatoes from the central valleys of California beginning in August. It’s probably no surprise that we’re one of the biggest purchasers of tomatoes in the country. This kind of purchase power―paired with the fact that we’ve maintained relationships with the some of the same tomato farmers our founders made connections with back in the beginning―means a tomato that goes into Pizza Hut pizza sauce can begin the process within approximately four hours of being picked from the vine. A similar advantage goes for our mushrooms and spinach as well, with as few as 48 hours from farm to restaurant.
Once produce is taken from the farm, the clock is ticking on the amount of viable vitamins and nutrients it contains, so the quicker it gets to the table the better. Being able to shorten that process means Pizza Hut provides the highest quality available in the fast-casual food game.
It only takes 24 to 48 hours for flour to become Pizza Hut dough, but timing isn’t the only thing we concern ourselves with when it comes to the crust. Consistency is key, and it’s one of the main reasons we’ve used some of the same wheat, farmers, farms, and mills since 1958. The high-protein flour produced must meet a minimum standard to be considered usable for our dough. This consistency gives it the texture and “mouth feel” that makes it not just any pizza crust, but Pizza Hut crust.
Everyone knows that you can’t build anything without a solid foundation which is why Pizza Hut puts so much effort into getting the basics right. Many of our best practices were established in the beginning and its our commitment to quality and excellence that keeps us tied to our roots as a restaurant company.
In the next chapter of our quality story we’ll be putting on our lab coat to explore how our Food Scientists are constantly working on innovative ways to optimize our ingredients and improve the experience for our customers.