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Pizza Hut used to be the ubiquitous All American pizza chain. The stores were everywhere, and the food was good enough to sit down and enjoy it. But now the chain has been losing money for seven straight quarters. Even the addition of Wing Street couldn’t salvage sales, and Ronn Torossian says now is the right time for the Hut
to take a long hard look at its current public image.

After all, pizza sure isn’t the issue. They may argue about who has the best, but Americans LOVE pizza. During the same period in which Pizza Hut, which is still America’s largest pizza chain, lost ground, both Papa John’s and Dominos have seen sales increase. That means the issue is one of perception guiding consumer choice. But why?

There may be no hard and fast answers to that question, but it’s one that Pizza Hut needs to answer now. Losing money for nearly two straight years is more than a fluke, it’s a trend. And it’s not a trend based on anything but consumer preference.

Some have said the issue is in changing trends. Pizza consumers are opting more for takeout than eating in. Picking up hot and ready at Little Caesars, or ordering online at primarily takeout chains. While that may be true, eat-in pizza joints are still doing fairly well. Even Cici’s, which caters to a price-conscious demographic, is maintaining against takeout. Besides, takeout pizza is nothing new.

So, could the answer be an image problem with pizza hut? Torossian believes that’s at least part of it. Sometime in the past decade or two, Pizza Hut made a shift toward a more fast food pizza quality but tried to keep the dine-in experience. That split the target demo … and frustrated both. Then, they doubled down with Wing Street, an interesting concept that had consumers wondering if Pizza Hut was trying to be a sports bar without the sports. Bottom line, America’s top pizza chain is suffering from an identity crisis. If they don’t figure out who they are, consumers will do it for them … by finding someplace else to eat.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

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