Pizza Hut announces plans to open 100 new new takeaway outlets in UK by end of 2014; pizza chain currently has around 300 outlets across UK

LONDON , December 10, 2012 () – PIZZA Hut Delivery has announced plans to open 100 new takeaway outlets by the end of 2014, creating 2,000 jobs, as it attempts to ride the recessionary trend to order in rather than eat out.

The fast food delivery business, owned up US food giant Yum!, has around 300 outlets across the UK, which are both company–owned and franchised, and wants to take that number to 700.

The company said it will invest £4.5m in the "aggressive expansion plan", with much of that money going to launch a new incentive scheme to support franchisees in opening stores.

Under the scheme, new and existing franchisees will receive up to £65,000 to help them open new outlets. Another £15.5m is expected to come from the franchisees themselves, taking the total planned investment to £20m.

Mark Fox, a Yum! managing director, said: "We are committed to delivering a major investment in growing our UK system, creating significant new opportunities for existing and would–be franchisees.

Our investment will increase our marketing spend, drive the outlet numbers, and visibility of Pizza Hut Delivery and create opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses quickly."

The move comes as takeaway sales are boosted by squeezed consumers frequently opting for the cheaper treat of a food delivery rather than splashing out on restaurant meals.

The trend has benefited fast–food delivery companies such as Domino's Pizza in recent years, but the UK restaurant sector has been struggling in comparison.

Yum!, which also owns the Taco Bell and KFC fast food chains, last month sold its UK Pizza Hut restaurant arm to turnaround firm Rutland Partners, which it will continue to operate as a franchise.

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