An updated Pizza Hut in Bluffton recently opened with fresh kitchen amenities and a larger dining room capacity.
The new restaurant was built in the parking lot of the old store, located at 632 N. Main Street in Bluffton. According to Assistant Manager Caleb Sinn, the new restaurant offers several more tables, additional booths and a drive-through window that his old workplace lacked.
Work on the new spot began in early this spring, and is about “98% complete,” Sinn said a couple of weeks ago. All that remains to be finished is some detail work and outdoor lighting.
Sinn noted that the newer kitchen is “more modernized” and should help his restaurant keep pace with its past glories. His particular location was named the top-selling Pizza Hut franchise in the nation several times in the late 1980s, he said.
President and CEO of Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne, Inc., Todd Hollman noted that the Bluffton location success is kind of the standard for his company, which comprises 45 franchise locations in 19 counties throughout northeastern and central Indiana.
“We are double the national average, and have the top sales volume restaurants in the nation,” he said.
Bluffton’s new spot has 190 tables versus the old location’s 172 tables.
There are now 18 booths in the dining room compared to the old spot’s eight booths.
And the new drive-through window will allow the business to more quickly sell carry-out orders, Sinn explained.
The Bluffton location is part of the Fort Wayne Pizza Hut franchise, owned and operated by Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne, Inc., which was founded in 1972.
Hollman noted that improvements like the one at the Bluffton store are important not just for the customer experience, but for the employees, as well.
“We schedule upgrades for our locations about every seven to 10 years,” he said. “That restaurant was 41 years old,” Hollman said. “And we’ve already added onto that building a couple of times. So, to have a whole new building just gives it a much more modern feel with the new TVs, new lighting, and new HVAC system. It’s just got all the comforts for the customer.
“And it’s a much more efficient and better work environment for the employees.”
Sinn said his new eatery is just one piece of the puzzle that is a newly rejuvenated business district in downtown Bluffton.
“We hope this renovation will help us provide consistent good service and nice place for the people of Bluffton to get together,” he said.