Lonely Planet Writer

A Pizza Hut museum may convince fans of the brand to travel off the beaten path

Pizza Huts can be found all over the US, but fans of the brand who want to do more than just taste the cheesy goodness of a slice can now visit a museum dedicated to the beloved US chain – if they happen to be travelling through Kansas.

The Original Pizza Hut Museum is “dedicated to the historical, cultural and entrepreneurial story of Pizza Hut” and opened this week in the original building that held the first restaurant. The museum is located in the relocated building on the campus of Wichita State University in Kansas, where the restaurant’s founders Dan and Frank Carney went to school. For pizza aficionados, the museums offers up a chance to explore pieces of the brand’s history, with interactive features, artefacts, a cut-out of the Pizza Pete icon and videos of early commercials.

The original Pizza Hut is now a museum. Image by Wichita State University Foundation

While it might be a bit of a niche market for museum lovers, it will have a strong role locally thanks to its location on the university campus. Students contributed to creating the museum and will have the chance to learn roles like museum docents, curators and improve their marketing skills.

See a piece of Pizza Hut history at Wichita State. Image by Wichita State University Foundation

The original Pizza Hut restaurant was opened at the corner of Bluff and Kellogg in 1958, after the Carney brothers borrowed $600 from their mother to start the business. By 1977, the brand was sold to PepsiCo for $300 million (€250 million) and the building was moved to the campus back in the 1980s. The museum will be open to the public during set hours and also available for group tours arranged in advance. Starting 7 May, the summer hours will be noon to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

The original Pizza Hut packaging. Image by Wichita State University Foundation

Since many travellers might be skipping Kansas on their next journey, there is another chance to celebrate a love of all things pizza. A Museum of Pizza pop-up will be opening in New York in October, promising a massive, interactive and immersive play place for anyone who wants to have a cheesy good time.