Pizza Hut's cheeseburger-ringed pizza is just one of the many innovations…
Restaurant sales may be recovering nicely in the U.S., but eateries are increasingly looking abroad, where diners are more accepting of innovations such as Pizza Hut’s new cheeseburger-crusted pies in the Middle East.
Think it’s a joke? A fantasy food dreamed up by a teenage boy? Even the advertisement acknowledges how silly it all sounds.
In the video, diners look on agog as a royal page brings in the monstrosity “masterpiece” – dubbed the “Crown Crust Pizza” – on a cushion. The overwhelming product looks like a standard meat-laden pizza – but topped with the accouterments of a taco and ringed with mini burgers dripping with melted cheese.
Fast-food restaurants are known for wacky promotions in other countries. Earlier this week, Pizza Hut launched pies with hot dog-stuffed crusts in the U.K. Domino’s said in September that it plans to be the first quick service chain on the moon. A Russian Burger King ad in December featured unicorns, tattoo artists and shamans.
Major food companies, such as Pizza Hut owner Yum and mega-chain McDonald’s, are expanding outside the U.S. to tap a growing consumer base with increasingly adventurous tastes.
The pizza scene is much tamer at home, where Domino’s artisan pies are considered a breakthrough in the business. Diners are more health-conscious, less given over to excess (unless you're at the Heart Attack Grill, where a margarita-drinking, cigarette-smoking woman collapsed this week after eating one of the calorie-heavy burgers).
But business is booming, with 41% of Americans saying they eat pizza once a week compared to just 26% two years ago.
And overall, the restaurant scene seems to be emerging from its recessionary lows. Private fast-food and fast casual companies have seen sales rise 5.69% in the last 12 months after growing 5.18% in 2011, according to financial analysis firm Sageworks Inc. The segment’s sales hit its lowest growth rate of 0.78% in 2009.
Similarly, full-service sit-down restaurants are seeing revenue boosts after sales declined 2.46% in 2009. Over the last 12 months, they’ve grown 5.19%, according to Sageworks.
Hot-dog-stuffed crusts aside, pizza sales are on the rise
Domino's Pizza plans to be first fast food joint on the moon
Heart Attack Grill strikes again? Owner calls diners 'risk-takers'
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