Pizza Hut closing but rebuilding in West Bend

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It’s a story you’ll see first at http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com as the Pizza Hut is closing on W. Washington Street in West Bend but it is looking to rebuild.  According to Denise Harris, the marketing director with Wisconsin Hospitality Group, the Pizza Hut will close in West Bend on Feb. 1, 2016 but hopes to rebuild in another location in the community before the end of the year.

In a one-on-one interview Sunday afternoon Harris said they do not have a designated location just yet. There had been word Pizza Hut was looking at the property across the road on West Washington Street; the parcel was formerly home to a Citgo gas station between Family Dollar and Fleet Farm.

Statements from Harris were directed to comments made in the release.

WHY DID YOU CLOSE THE PIZZA HUT?
Our lease on the Pizza Hut building located in West Bend has come to an end and, although it was a difficult decision, we have made a business decision not to renew at this time and to close the restaurant.

DO YOU HAVE FUTURE PLANS FOR A PIZZA HUT IN THE AREA?
It is a priority for the company to rebuild in the West Bend area before the end of 2016 and possibly open one of the new Pizza Hut restaurant concepts, which has been very well received in other communities. Company development managers are actively searching properties in the area, but have not yet selected a final site.

IS THERE A SPECIFIC BUSINESS REASON FOR CLOSING?
We make decisions frequently to change our asset base throughout the state, some of which are financially driven and others more strategic. Unfortunately, sometimes that includes closing restaurants, but also often means opening new ones, sometimes in the same community and sometimes in other areas.

IS THE COMPANY STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY?
No. Closing a restaurant does not always indicate that a company is struggling, it is simply a marketing / strategic decision based on consumer demand, market area and costs. In order to stay competitive in the rapidly changing restaurant category, the company must continually assess its restaurant asset base and make decisions accordingly. Company management sites that WHG frequently changes assets due to either financial or strategic objectives. Asset changes sometimes include store closings, but more often than not, they involve new store openings or remodels. During the last 30 months, the company has embarked on an aggressive program to remodel or relocate restaurants throughout the State with an updated and fresh new image. In fact, they have completed over 40 restaurant remodels and relocations to update the brand image. The company will continue to upgrade their restaurant base as well as pursue additional new locations within the state.

HAVE YOU OFFERED ANYTHING FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES?
We have offered all salaried and hourly employees the opportunity to stay with the company and work in any of its other Pizza Hut restaurants or, possibly, in any of its 36 Applebee’s locations.


STATEMENT:
We appreciate the almost 43 years of guest patronage from the West Bend community and we hope to have the opportunity to return to the area in the future.

BOILER PLATE:
Wisconsin Hospitality Group owns and operates more than 100 restaurants across Wisconsin, including Pizza Huts and Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants, all committed to guest satisfaction and community support.
The company has a long history of giving back to the communities it is located in and has recently established a non-profit foundation, WHG Cares, and throughout the last 16 years, WHG has been able to donate more than $2.9 million in combined gifts to local charities including Children’s Hospital, World Hunger Relief, Honor Flight and One Heartland. These donations were made possible by both the generosity of guests and the hard work of all WHG team members.

Harris said more details would be released when the situation warrants. The notice about the Pizza Hut closing in West Bend is posted below.

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Sadly, we will be closing our West Bend location on February 1, 2016. Thanks for allowing us to serve WEST BEND for the past 43 years!

Sunday, January 17, 2016 – Wisconsin Hospitality Group, LLC (WHG) announced today that they will be closing the Pizza Hut restaurant located in West Bend, Wisconsin on February 2, 2016 with the last day of operation on February 1, 2016. The West Bend Pizza Hut is one of approximately 80 restaurants within the WHG restaurant franchise group.

The company’s lease on the Pizza Hut building located at 1610 W Washington Rd was coming to an end in January and, although it was a difficult decision for company owners, they have made a business decision to close the restaurant after serving our wonderful guests in the West Bend area for 43 years.

It is a priority for the company to rebuild in the West Bend area before the end of 2016 and possibly open one of the new Pizza Hut restaurant concepts, which has been very well received in other communities. Company development managers are actively searching properties in the area, but have not yet selected a final site.

Company management sites that WHG frequently changes assets due to either financial or strategic objectives. Asset changes sometimes include store closings, but more often than not, they involve new store openings or remodels. During the last 30 months, the company has embarked on an aggressive program to remodel or relocate restaurants throughout the State with an updated and fresh new image.

In fact, they have completed over 40 restaurant remodels and relocations to update the brand image. The company will continue to upgrade their restaurant base as well as pursue additional new locations within the state.

Upon announcing the closing in West Bend, WHG has offered all salaried and hourly employees the opportunity to stay with the company, Wisconsin Hospitality Group, and work in any of its other 80, or so, Pizza Hut restaurants or, possibly, in any of its 36 Applebee’s locations.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group owns and operates more than 100 restaurants across Wisconsin, including Pizza Huts and Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants, all committed to guest satisfaction and community support.

The company has a long history of giving back to the communities it is located in and has recently established a non-profit foundation, WHG Cares, and throughout the last 16 years, WHG has been able to donate more than $2.9 million in combined gifts to local charities including Children’s Hospital, World Hunger Relief, Honor Flight and One Heartland. These donations were made possible by both the generosity of guests and the hard work of all WHG team members.

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