Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Pizza Hut Pete
On June 15, 1958, brothers Frank and Dan Carney took advantage of the "pizza craze" sweeping the country by opening the first Pizza Hut in Wichita. A year later the first Pizza Hut franchise opened in Topeka, and the move to become a national chain was on.
One of the first symbols of the company was "Pizza Hut Pete," shown here in the form of a plastic sign that was part of Pizza Hut oven toy for children. I found this one at a local thrift shop. Too bad they didn't have the toy oven to go with it. I'm sure my son would have loved it, as we love going to Pizza Hut every Friday afternoon for the "All You Can Eat" pizza buffet. Pizza Hut was one of the first things Kaden learned to say!
"Pete" was used by the company into the mid-1970s, when the familiar red roof logo began to appear. "Pete" might simply have outlived his usefulness, or perhaps he was seen as too much of an Italian stereotype to be an effective image for the company.