Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney in Wichita, Kansas. The company gained national recognition in its first-ever advertising campaign, called "Putt Putt to Pizza Hut," which first debuted on American television in 1965. That first TV commercial was directed by Randall Parker. The company was purchased by PepsiCo, Inc. in 1977.
Pizza Hut was "spun-off" from Pepsi Cola, in October 1997, to Tricon Global Restaurants, which has been renamed Yum! Brands, Inc.. The most distinct symbol of Pizza Hut is the trademarked design of the restaurant's roof, which is a red painted Mansard roof; It is incorporated into the Pizza Hut logo. The current design was adopted in 1969, with a makeover in 1999.
Pizza Hut has recently entered the Italian restaurant market, (and hence is using Queen Latifah as their spokewoman, due to her Italian background), through its chain of Pizza Hut Italian Bistro restaurants.
These restaurants have expanded their traditional pizza menu to include an assortment of pastas, gourmet pizzas such as Classic Margherita, and also toasted sandwiches. This brand of Pizza Hut store has only developed recently and has been growing in number accross the country. Along with the Pizza Hut Italian Bistro is another new chain called Pizza Hut Wing Street, which has a menu consisting primarily of buffalo wings.