Since this past Halloween, THREE Pizza Huts in the Syracuse-ish area have closed and that might make you wonder, is ours next? Besides each of those stores not doing enough sales, they also had in common that they were longstanding in the community for as much as 25 years or more, making their closing even more tragic. Pizza Hut's parent company which also owns Taco Bell and KFC reported strong earnings five years ago, so let's hope that Pizza Hut's apparent CNY woes aren't a harbinger of things to come.

I'm committing blasphemy by admitting this in Little Italy Utica where local mom-and-pop pizza places are akin to churches (and the food religion that goes with them), but I grew up on Pizza Hut pizza before moving to Verona with their 'Book-It' promotion (that's STILL going on!) and I credit the chain with encouraging me to read by dangling those personal pan pizzas in front of my nose in school and admit it, you wore that Book-It button proudly with those yellow stars on it too!

Now, some 25 years later I still get bummed out when I get a hankering for some pie and realize that I've missed the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, and don't even get me started on their stuffed crust! I was just at the lunch buffet last month at the Seneca Turnpike location in New Hartford and while chowing away I did notice offhandedly that attendance wasn't what I expected for that time of day.

So, if these last couple of months are any indication that Pizza Hut is in trouble, I will shed a tear if my local one closes. As of this writing, there are still handful of locations in Syracuse still up and running as are the ones in Oneida, Rome and Herkimer are too. Fingers crossed that 2018 won't see more closings.

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