A lot of things that have existed on this earth for more than a nano-second have a high chance of failing at some point. Humans do it when they blurt out, "You too," when responding to someone saying, "Bye-bye!" Birds do it when they mistake their reflection for another bird. And even multinational pizza corporations fail when they sell crummy feeds that the masses do not want or care for.
This brings us to Pizza Hut’s menu. That’s right, this institution of the fast food world has brought out many a dish that was panned by critics and the general public alike. Despite making a decent supreme, they have delivered some limited-time items that have absolutely missed the mark. So, what are these items? And what made them such noteworthy flops? Well, get the palettes of your imagination prepped and ready for a challenging jaunt, because we’re about to go through the history of Pizza Hut’s most cringeworthy meals.
1. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
In 2014, Pizza Hut announced that it was updating its logo, its websites, its uniforms, and arguably most importantly of all, its menu. Moreover, they weren’t kidding around: this chain released 11 "new specialty recipes." At the time, Pizza Hut was very proud of its debuting feeds, as Global Executive Chef, Wiley Bates III, stated, "We know that American tastes and preferences are evolving, and this new menu is designed to completely wow them."
Nevertheless, not everyone liked every new item. Take for instance, Pizza Hut’s BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, which GrubGrade was less than impressed by. In this publication’s review, it stated that this meal featured not enough barbecue sauce, too many Roma tomatoes, too many red onions, dry meatballs, and not enough cheese. GrubGrade felt that it was a complete, overpriced mess that wasn’t worth ordering. It’s also worth noting that this item can no longer be bought at your local Pizza Hut.
2. Hot dog stuffed pizza crust
What happens when you combine these two iconic items like hot dogs and pizza together? Well, in 2015, Pizza Hut decided the ask the American people this very question by selling them pizzas that featured hot dogs stuffed in the pizza crusts. The pizza joint also decided to up the stakes by making a version of this meal that featured crusts that tasted like pretzels.
After these items were released, Business Insider then gave them to some taste testers to find out the scoop. And according to them, the version which featured just hot dogs in their crusts were tasty, but they were not as good as they could’ve been. "I missed the crust component of the pizza, and felt that the hot dog portion was disjointed," said a taste tester. "This would have been better with the hot dogs on top."
However, many of Business Insider’s taste testers disliked the pretzel version. This is because it was way too salty. "The pizza portion itself was fairly standard Pizza Hut pizza with a soggy crust," one person remarked. "The hot dog was salty, the pretzel surrounding it was salty — there’s just no way I could eat more than a slice of this."
3. Sicilian Lasagna Pizza
In 2006, eight years before the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger pizza had hit America’s shores, the Houston Chron reported on another of Pizza Hut’s food combos. However, this one tried to replicate the taste of a Sicilian lasagne that had been fused with pizza. Unsurprisingly, it was called a Sicilian Lasagna Pizza.
Now, this pie received a fair few compliments from the news outlet. The publication praised its flavor profile and its soft cheesy texture. Nevertheless, Chron also took this dish to task because while it was a tasty pizza, it wasn’t at all a lasagna. This is because it didn’t have the thin layers of noodles which make lasagnas so unique and give it that distinct textural quality.
Moreover, Chron questioned who this pizza was for. Even in 2006, there wasn’t a shortage of Italian restaurants that made and delivered lasagnas. This review demonstrates that even tasty food can be classified as a flop if it can’t live up to its name or doesn’t fill a void in the food landscape.
4. Four’N Twenty Meat Pie Pizza
On the continent known as Australia, pizzas aren’t called pies. Additionally, the majority of pies that are consumed aren’t sweet ones. That’s right, savory meat pies, most of which are filled with beef mince, are an absolute institution across this nation. You can find them in many a bakery, in the hands of builders, plumbers, and tradesmen, and in heaps of the country’s servos. One of the most famous brands is called Four’N Twenty.
So, with all of this in mind, the Aussie branch of Pizza Hut decided to attach a bunch of Four’N Twenty meat pies to the crust of some of its pizzas. And this piqued Lifehacker’s interest, who then asked its staff members to give this meal a try. Now, some of these taste testers enjoyed this combo, however, most of them felt like this fusion was pointless. As Anthony Keogh, the account manager said, "It’s basically just like having a piece of pizza with a bonus party pie at the end. Not terrible, but do I need it?"
Good luck finding this odd creation at a Pizza Hut today.
5. Priazzo Pizza
According to Mental Floss, 1985 was an interesting time for Pizza Hut. This was because the franchise had launched a whole never-before-seen pizza creation that year — the Priazzo. This feed may seem like an Italian classic, but it’s not. In fact, Pizza Hut made this word and meal up entirely. The Priazzo featured tomatoes, mushroom, onions, spinach, pepperoni, ham, bacon, a heck ton of cheese, and two different layers of dough.
PepsiCo, the company that owned Pizza Hut at that time, wanted this feed to help bolster the chain’s profit margin, which it did for at least a year or so. In 1986, PepsiCo declared that the Priazzo helped boost Pizza Hut’s revenue by 12 percent, which was a bigger splash of cash than what PepsiCo was initially planning to get. However, this hefty pizza creation wasn’t to become a permanent fixture of the menu. Partons at that time wanted more established types of food, and the last time the Priazzo got any mention by Pizza Hut in the press was in 1993.
6. Pizza Hut’s Doritos Crunchy Crust
According to Statista, the Doritos brand made around $1.48 billion dollars worth of sales in just the U.S alone during 2017. They were also the most popular type of tortilla and tostada chips for that year. Ergo, Doritos are a big deal in the world of chip manufacturing. Moreover, it would make sense that other huge players would want to partner up with this chip brand.
However, when Pizza Hut teamed up with Doritos in 2014, the results weren’t too hot. These corporations launched combo was called Pizza Hut’s Doritos Crunchy Crust, and it was absolutely eviscerated by TechGeek Australia. The publication described Pizza Hut’s feed as a normal pizza but with burnt corn chips and disjointed cheese sprinkled across its crust. They stated that you shouldn’t buy this product under basically any state of affairs.
And TechGeek wasn’t the only publication that critiqued the bejeezus out of this meal. Lifehacker also taste-tested this item, and while the opinions from its staff members were varied, some rather brutal words were said about the Doritos Crunchy Crust. As Campbell Simpson put it, "I didn’t like the Doritos crust, not at all. I should mention that I love both Doritos and Pizza Hut on their own, but the combination is not good. The vast majority of the pizza is the same, as you’d expect, but the crust just tastes not as nice as a regular pizza."
7. Pretzel Piggy Pizza
The Pretzel Piggy Pizza sounds like less of an actual menu item you could buy and more like three words strung together someone throwing darts at the "P" pages of their dictionary. Nevertheless, this meal was real and was debuted as a part of Pizza Hut’s 2014 rebranding effort. This pizza featured a parmesan sauce, a balsamic sauce, bacon, mushroom, and spinach upon a salted pretzel crusted base.
Now, all of those ingredients might seem mighty fine to you, however, Brand Eating stated in its review of this pizza that they just didn’t work together. Yup, there were too many flavors happening on top of this pizza, and some of its ingredients ended up getting completely overshadowed. Furthermore, Brand Eating believed that the parmesan sauce and the balsamic sauce clashed in an unappealing manner. Perhaps Pizza Hut’s recipe would have worked better if they focused on fewer mismatched flavors, rather than throwing the dictionary into their meal.
In 2012, Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Pizza Hut was going to take on Subway with the release of a new item. And that new item was called the P’Zolo. These feeds were sandwich rolls that had a bit of Asiago cheese put on top of them. When they were released, you could buy one for $3.00 or two for $5.00. Nation’s Restaurant News believed that these price points put the P’Zolo in the same battleground as Subway’s $5 Footlong.
However, while Subway’s footlongs are still around (just not for five bucks), the P’Zolo is not. What’s more, a version of this sammie got completely annihilated in a review by The Impulse Buy. This publication taste-tested the Trio Meat edition, which contained ham, Italian sausages, and pepperoni, and stated it was a garbage bag out of 10. Their review blasted that the P’Zolo was way too greasy and had an overpowering black pepper flavor thanks to the P’Zolo’s sausages.
9. Bacon and cheese stuffed pizza crust
If you’re a fan of bacon, cheese, and the crust of pizzas, then surely it’d be a no-brainer to stuff some bacon and cheese into a pizza crust, right? Well, Pizza Hut gave this fusion a go by debuting its very own bacon and cheese stuffed crust. In its press release for this menu item, Pizza Hut’s vice president of marketing, Jared Drinkwater said, "With the Bacon Stuffed Crust Pizza, we’re continuing to bring our customers what they want: A flavor-packed pizza that combines two foods America loves –- pizza and bacon -– into one epic pizza."
So, with all of this being established, how did Pizza Hut go wrong? Well, when Business Insider got some folks to taste test this item, the results weren’t exactly super-duper. Some reviewers liked the cheesiness of the crust, but a lot of them disliked its bacon profile. "It’s not a very strong bacon flavour, but also not a very good flavour" expressed one taste-tester. Others also noted that this item was notably greasy, too weighty, and rather perfunctory. "I don’t find this disgusting," explained one of the reviewers, "It just strikes me as unnecessary."
10. Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza
Cheez-Its first hit the market back in 1921, and since then, they’ve become an iconic American snack. They’ve since expanded to multiple cheesy flavors with Food & Wine reporting that you can even get packs that are caramel popcorn and cheddar flavor.
So, like many other successful brands throughout history, Cheez-Its partnered with Pizza Hut to create the Stuffed Cheese-It Pizza. This item consisted of four Cheez-It-inspired baked squares that were filled with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese. "Kellogg’s iconic Cheez-It brand brings a whole new dining experience to Pizza Hut lovers and will not disappoint," said Kellogg’s U.S Specialty Channels President, Wendy Davidson. "The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is an example of two great companies leveraging their strengths to delight guests with a new experience on a classic favorite."
However, this pizza and snack cracker mashup wasn’t reviewed well by all. GrubGrade stated that this "pizza" wasn’t a pizza, and was instead a "mediocre Hot Pocket." They then went on to express that these items were too dry, not melted enough on the inside, and needed more of a Cheez-Its flavor. GrubGrade gave the taste of this meal a flat three out of 10 rating.