Dan and Frank Carney
Creators of Pizza Hut. Dan, 1931- Frank, 1938-
The name Pizza Hut has nearly become a generic word for good, fast pizza—pick up and delivery. Pizza Huts were established 50 years ago in Wichita, Kansas.
Dan and Frank Carney established the first pizzeria in 1958 at the request of a landlord who had an unrented building. The two college students borrowed $600 from their mother and opened a beer and pizza restaurant for students. They purchased used equipment and decided to serve pizza to their customers.
The recipe for the Carney's early pizza dough was "a handful of this and a handful of that" all mixed together. As business improved they developed their own special recipe.
The choice proved to popular and the next year the first franchise opened in Topeka. The Pizza Hut in Aggieville, Manhattan, Kansas opened the next year and was the home of the oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut in the world until it closed July 26, 2015. The Aggieville Pizza Hut was the first Pizza Hut to have delivery. Their first deliveries were made on a three wheeled scooter. Because pizza delivery was unheard of at that time the owner sent pizzas to the bars in Aggieville and sold them there. This was also the place where the Pizza Hut buffet was conceived. One day the restaurant was packed with customers and not enough staff. The owner began putting the pizzas on the counter and letting the customers serve themselves. This was called a smorgasbord, however, corporate didn't like the smorgasbord idea and changed it to buffet.
By 1964 the Carneys had developed a branding for the Pizza Huts, establishing the familiar huts with red roofs that we know today. The brothers sold their interest in Pizza Hut in 1977.
Entry: Carney, Dan and Frank
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: March 2008
Date Modified: August 2015
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.