REYKJAVIK, April 9 Pizza Hut is shutting down
all but one of its restaurants in Iceland because of an economic
crisis that has killed demand for its fast food, the firm said
on Friday, just months after McDonald's (MCD.N) left the island.
Once a common indulgence for Icelanders, ordering a
pepperoni pizza for delivery has become too expensive for many
on the island nation of 320,000 in the wake of its spectacular
financial collapse in late 2008.
Pizza Hut said it was closing two of its three restaurants
after more than 20 years of operation due to reduced demand, the
soaring cost of importing raw materials and the crash of the
"It's obvious that families have less money to spend and
restaurants are among the first things people cut," Pizza Hut
manager Thordis Loa Thorhallsdottir told Reuters.
When fast-food giant McDonald's pulled out of Iceland in
October for similar reasons, thousands of Icelanders lined up
outside its outlets for their very last Big Mac on home turf.
Pizza lovers will not suffer the same fate, however, as the
Yum Brands Inc-owned (YUM.N) delivery chain will keep serving
customers at one location -- its most popular -- in a shopping
mall near Reykjavik.
"We have a large stable of loyal customers and plan to keep
going for a long time yet, despite the hardship this country is
going through at the moment," Thorhallsdottir said.
A basic Pizza Hut pie with cheese sells for the equivalent
of about $17 in Iceland.
(Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson; Editing by Michael Roddy)