Brainerd Eats- Is Pizza Hut In Baxter Next To Close?


With so many pizza options in the Brainerd/Baxter area and the emergence of delivery services, something has to give…

Add to that the news from Thursday that Pizza Hut is planning to close as many as 500 locations as part of its company transformation to more efficient stores, it seems like the Baxter store may be in peril. President and COO David Gibbs stated “We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets.” In a nutshell, he’s stating that stand alone dine-in stores like the one in Baxter near the Westport Shopping Center could be on the chopping block. At this point, Pizza Hut has not identified which of its locations will in fact be closing, but has said it will be “under-performing” locations that are destined for closure.

I was shocked when I read there were 114 Pizza Hut locations in Minnesota. While that number includes a mixture of dine-in and express stores, it feels like Pizza Hut is aiming for all their locations to eventually be of the express variety. Long-term, smart money is on the Westport Shopping Center location to close and a smaller, more efficient Pizza Hut Express store front with potential for a drive-up window to open in the area.

It’s no shock that The Hut has taken a hit due to more and more restaurants now offer delivery, as well as the rise of online delivery services, I.E. Door Dash and Food Dudes that have allowed diners to indulge in a vast array of takeout delivery options. A quick Google search finds over a dozen pizza place options just in the immediate Brainerd/Baxter area.

An employee at the Baxter store stated they had no knowledge of any changes coming to the location.

Once again… pure speculation…