Pizza Hut topping up UK portfolio with first new restaurant opening in six years

Alys Key
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The new restaurant is part of a shopping complex in Leeds (Source: Pizza Hut)

Casual dining chain Pizza Hut has opened its first new restaurant in six years in Leeds.

The restaurant operator has undergone a £60m investment plan since 2012 when the UK franchise was acquired by private equity firm Rutland Partners from its US owner Yum! Brands.

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But the investment has previously only focused on improving the existing portfolio of restaurants, serving cocktails and doing up interiors to compete with growing competition from the likes of Nando's and Pizza Express.

While some takeout joints have opened in recent years, these are still owned by Yum! and operate separately to the restaurants. This means the new site at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds is the first new "Hut" to open in over six years.

The company has invested £1m in the new restaurant and says it will create 50 new jobs.

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Pizza Hut COO Mike Spencer said: "Today’s opening marks a significant landmark in our business strategy which has, for the past five years, focused on the restructure of our existing portfolio of restaurants across the UK."

It emerged in April that Rutland was in talks with American investment fund Pricoa to sell Pizza Hut's UK restaurant chain, but the sale is understood to be off the table for now.

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