HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — A quick look at Pizza Hut's website and it's easy to see, the restaurant's presence is virtually non-existent in Western New York.
If you live near one of its restaurants, or a former one, it's even easier to see. They're closed in WNY. The former Pizza Hut in Hamburg off Camp Road took down the exterior signs. There is note on the window. It reads, that because of COVID-19 and government restrictions, the restaurant would be temporarily closed.
Last August, the chain said they would close 500 under preforming restaurants in the next two years.
Pizza Hut provided this statement:
As a result of 17 Pizza Hut dine-in restaurants in Western New York initially closing temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions, the local franchisee made the decision to permanently close these stores. However, Pizza Hut has new franchisees coming into the New York region, and we are hopeful we will be able to serve our customers in this area again in the future.
Here are the Pizza Huts in Western New York that closed permanently:
At Butera's in Hamburg the loss of a chain in the same town, isn't celebrated.
“It’s devastating we’re never going to be the same after this,” said Jimmy Butera about the effects of COVID-19 on restaurants. He feels bad for anyone at Pizza Hut who lost their job, but isn't surprised restaurants are closing.
“If someone was not financially viable at the beginning this, they're likely not making it through,” added Butera.
He says to prevent more state-wide closings, restaurants need to buckle down on mask and social distancing guidelines.