The world’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday. In its filing, Leawood-based NPC International Inc. listed estimated assets ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion and estimated liabilities in the same range.
NPC operates 1,227 Pizza Hut restaurants in 27 states, representing about 20% of the domestic Pizza Hut system. It’s also The Wendy’s Co.’s (Nasdaq: WEN) largest franchisee, with 393 restaurants in eight states.
One of NPC’s hurdles has been Pizza Hut’s performance in recent years, which created a “significant drag on profitability due to a lack of sales growth and a significant inflationary cost environment,” the filing said. In addition to a drop in foot traffic and pricing pressures in the pizza category, the Pizza Hut brand has lost market share to competitors.