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Mega franchisee buys Delaware Pizza Huts

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Delaware’s four remaining Pizza Hut restaurants, all focused on delivery or pickup orders, have been sold to Flynn Restaurant Group. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS

Flynn Restaurant Group LP, the largest restaurant franchise operator in North America, announced Wednesday that it has acquired 937 Pizza Hut and 194 Wendy’s locations throughout the U.S. from Kansas City-based NPC International, including four Pizza Huts in Delaware.

NPC, the largest U.S. operator of Pizza Huts and Wendy’s, filed for bankruptcy in July amid COVID-19-related restrictions that closed many of its dining rooms. It was reportedly saddled with nearly a billion dollars in debt before the pandemic struck and was forced into bankruptcy. In January, it agreed to the sale of its assets, including selling a handful of Wendy’s locations back to the company, in a transaction worth about $801 million.

NPC permanently closed six standalone Pizza Hut locations across Delaware but kept four that focused on carryout and delivery service in operation.

Those four locations – off U.S. Route 40 in Bear, off East Lebanon Road in Dover, and off U.S. Route 13 in Seaford and Smyrna – were acquired by Flynn for an undisclosed sum. The deal was supported by Flynn’s long-term investment partners Main Post Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

They join a portfolio that already includes brands like Applebee’s, Panera Bread, Taco Bell and Arby’s.

Greg Flynn

“We are excited to announce the addition of Pizza Hut and Wendy’s to our portfolio,” said Greg Flynn, founder, chairman and CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group. “They bring with them a wonderful team of dedicated operators and support personnel, who we welcome whole-heartedly into the Flynn family. Further, both Pizza Hut and Wendy’s are deeply established as leading concepts in their sectors, and our entry into their systems furthers our goal to operate at scale in top-tier brands.”

The newly acquired Pizza Hut and Wendy’s restaurants will further Flynn’s goal of diversifying between top brands and segments within the restaurant industry. They will also nearly double its restaurant count, now owning and operating a combined total of 2,355 quick-service, fast casual and casual dining restaurants, generating $3.5 billion in sales and employing 73,000 people in 44 states.

Flynn’s subsidiaries include the largest Applebee’s franchisee, the largest Arby’s franchisee, the second largest Panera Bread franchisee, and the third largest Taco Bell franchisee. They have now been joined by the largest Pizza Hut franchisee and the fifth largest Wendy’s franchisee.

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