Success Story: How 2 College Students Founded Pizza Hut

If you will ask successful entrepreneurs about their secret on how they made it big, some will probably reply that they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Take it from Dan and Frank Carney who were yet college students when they bravely went ahead and started their business.

Back in 1958, the brothers borrowed $600 from their mother so they can open a pizzeria in Wichita, Kansas. The restaurant was the first of its kind in their hometown. The funny thing here though was that neither of them knew how to make pizza or how to manage a business. Still, the duo persisted and quickly learned along the way.

pizza hut
By Amin Eshaiker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The store gained massive following for their reputation of using fresh meat and vegetable toppings as well as for baking pizzas fresh to order. Doughs are baked daily to ensure customers will be served with the best product.

By December of the same year, the business did well enough for them to open a second restaurant. In 1959, Pizza Hut opened its first franchise in Topeka, Kansas. The pizza chain also pioneered pizza delivery services in their Aggieville, Kansas branch which attracted a lot of attention. After 10 years in the industry, Pizza Hut had opened more than 300 restaurants.

By 1977, they already reached the noteworthy milestone of having 4,000 outlets. During the same year, the Carney brothers mutually agreed to sell their business to PepsiCo for an estimated $300 million.

Today, Pizza Hut sells more than a million pizzas per day with 6,000 stores in United States and 5,139 branches scattered in 94 countries across the globe. It is undoubtedly the largest pizza store in the world right now.

Needless to say, that’s an admirable achievement for a business founded by two enterprising college students!