This didn’t fit anywhere in my review of Robert Spector’s The Mom & Pop Store, but it’s still worth passing along: Spector’s story of how Pizza Hut got its name.
[When Dan and Frank Carney started a pizza restaurant in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, they didn’t know what to call it.] The local Coca-Cola distributor provided a complimentary small outside sign that was wide at the top and tapered down at the bottom. There was room for only five letters on the top line and three letters on the bottom line. “Pizza” obviously had to be on top. But Pizza what? Pizza Pad? Pizza Inn? Pizza Pan? Pizza Jug? Dan’s wife, Beverly, mentioned that she thought the building looked like a hut. The decision was made. The name of the pizzeria would be Pizza Hut.
There you have it.