Pizza Hut, the home of stuffed crusts and "all you can eat" pizza, hopes to enter a new era today by changing its name for the first time in its 50-year history.
The Yum Brands owned group, which has 700 outlets across the UK, is to become Pasta Hut, in an attempt to highlight a number of nutritional changes to its menu and the launch of a new range of pastas.
The company, which has already spent £17m this year updating its restaurants, said it will spend a further £100m over the next six years, extend the number of outlets and launch the new, expanded menu.
Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Pizza Hut, said: "We have made significant changes to the business over the past few years and we wanted to create a moment in time for people to sit back and take notice.
"With 120 refurbished stores, the introduction of a great new pasta range to the menu and big nutritional changes, I am confident that people will like what they see when they come into our restaurants."
Pizza Hut also said it has made "significant changes" to the nutritional content of most of its menu items.
The company launched a salt reduction programme in 2004, when salt levels in some products were reduced by as much as 30%. It has now committed to a 10% reduction over the next three years, aiming to meet the Food Standard Agency's salt targets for 2010.
Meanwhile, the children's menu has been changed to include hidden vegetables and a free side salad. All traces of hydrogenated vegetable oils have been removed from the menu, and there is also an ongoing saturated fat removal programme.
Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958 and opened its first UK franchise in Islington, north London, in 1973.
By Daniel Thomas
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