Pizza Hut Might Beat Domino's In 2023 For Top Pizza Chain

Pizza chains are up against their fair share of competition to win over the loyal customers they crave. According to IBISWorld, there were 78,301 pizza restaurants in the United States in 2023 at the time of writing. Domino's has long held the crown as consumers' favorite pizza chain, ranking number one in pizza sales in the U.S. since 2017 (via Statista). But it seems like Domino's reign could soon be coming to an end. 

Domino's has captivated its customers with famous deals like $7.99 three-topping carry-out pizzas in 2019. But with rising production costs and inflation through the roof, these incredible deals aren't looking so incredible anymore. The three-topping pizza for $7.99 deal has been demoted to just one topping for the same price. Not surprisingly, Domino's expected earnings were down at the end of 2022.

Pizza lovers on a budget shouldn't worry – Pizza Hut is ready to slide into hungry Americans' hearts. The multi-billion dollar company has been getting creative with new ways to meet consumers' needs. At the end of 2022, Pizza Hut introduced its latest product, Melts, which is essentially two slices of pizza folded on top of one another and stuffed with various toppings, creating something similar to a calzone. And it's a big hit with young people.  

Pizza Hut's Melts cater to a younger audience

Pizza Hut is marketing Melts to young people as a quick, single-serving meal that is convenient, cheap, and cheesy. By shifting its marketing from group and family-focused items to focus on young, on-the-go people, the pizza franchise is distinguishing itself from competitors. At Yum Brand's Investor's Day, Pizza Hut CEO Aaron Powell explained, "This launch was intentionally designed for young people. We're very pleased with the same-store sales growth, transaction growth, new customers, and repeat customers since this has launched" (via Nation's Restaurant News).

Restaurant Business shared impressive statistics from, a location tracking firm, on how Melts have already positively impacted Pizza Hut's business. Research shows that foot traffic increased by 4.1% in November after Melts were introduced to Pizza Hut restaurants. That's real ROI right there! By shifting the focus onto younger generations, Pizza Hut positions itself to grow with a new generation of pizza lovers. If the chain can establish brand loyalty by encouraging young people to grab Melts, it's possible that, by the time someone has a larger family, their first thought for pizza night will be "Pizza Hut."

Domino's may have some serious ground to make up if they don't take the hint soon. Clearly, many Americans are looking for quick, cheap, individual-sized meals they can grab with ease. Capturing your customers' attention with creative marketing is more important than ever, and Pizza Hut is having a moment. Will 2023 be its year?