Monday, June 22, 2009

Open Letter to Pizza Hut: You are NOT Chicago's favorite pizza

Mr. Scott Bergren
President & CCO
Pizza Hut, Inc.
Dallas, TX

Dear Scottie,

Over the past few weeks it seems that every time I turn on the TV it's only a matter of seconds before I see a Pizza Hut commercial. I am not writing to complain about the ubiquity of your commercials as, while I don't enjoy them, at least they are promoting pizza and not adult diapers, ED drugs, etc. Despite this, I would still like to share with you some of my thoughts about your commercials and your pizza.

Invariably, at some point during your commercials, the claim is made that Pizza Hut is "America's favorite pizza." Since first seeing this claim, I've had several thoughts about it.

First off, on behalf of the Windy City, I'd like to be very clear: Pizza Hut is NOT Chicago's favorite pizza. In fact, you are probably not even one of Chicago's top 100 pizza purveyors. I think you know this as you don't have many shops in Chicago. Your pizza's failure to register on the list of Chicago's favorite pizza joints not only takes a rather large geographic bite out of your "America's favorite" claim, it also basically destroys the credibility of the claim. You surely must know that Chicago is THE city for great pizza in America and that no one knows great pizza like Chicagoans know great pizza. So, without Chicago's endorsement, I'm afraid that no pizza, including Pizza Hut's, can be properly considered America's favorite.

I also think it's curious that you call your pizza "America's favorite" rather than "America's finest," or "America's best." The difference between "America's favorite" pizza and "America's finest" pizza is like the difference between the most popular kid in high school and the smartest kid. And we all know what happens to the popular kid: he ends up pumping gas somewhere. In other words, you and the folks down at the Hut might want to think about your future.

Despite my criticisms, I would like to thank you for running your commercials so frequently. Besides being a welcome pizza daydream from all the other advert trash that's constantly on the tube, when I see one of your spots, my inner pizza fiend often comes out and I end up ordering a pie from some quality, local, family-owned pizza joint here in Chicago even though I wasn't planning on it.

In closing, I would like to invite you to come to Chicago and visit a couple pizza joints with me so you can take some notes and do whatever possible to improve your pizza as I trust we share the same grand goal in life: to make the world's pizza dreams come true.

With love,

The Chicago Pizza Project

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