October 11, 2008

Pizza Hut to become Pasta Hut?

Rebrand: Pizza Hut restaurants are becoming Pasta Huts in a bid to be healthier

It's a high street name change that could take some topping.

Pizza Hut is to become Pasta Hut in a radical overhaul of the restaurant chain's menu and image.

From this week, pizza will play second fiddle to a range of new pasta dishes to be launched on unsuspecting customers.

Pizza Hut signs are currently being taken down and altered as the chain battles to adopt a wholesome image - not whole-fat.

'We wanted to create a moment in time for people to sit back and take notice,' said Pizza Hut boss Alasdair Murdoch.

''We are confident that people will like what they see when they come into the restaurants.

'The popular salad bar has been upgraded. Improvements have been made in areas including nutrition, quality of ingredients in all of our pizzas and pastas, as well as a decrease in salt and saturated fat.'

And, in a move that will surely please school meals' champion, Jamie Oliver, the restaurant also plans to sneak 'hidden vegetables in kids' meals', a statement from the company said.

It remains to be seen whether the huge rebranding exercise will be a success.

But there is hope for those who value fatty pizza over diet-friendly dishes - and those who think the name change is a brazen publicity stunt.

It is for a trial period only and customers can offer their thoughts on the new-look restaurants at www.pastahut.co.uk.

The 50-year-old US company, which launched its first restaurant in Britain in 1973, uses 8,500 tonnes of cheese every year.

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