Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas.When a friend suggested opening a pizza parlor, they agreed that the idea could prove successful, and they borrowed $600 from their mother to start a business with partner John Bender. Renting a small building at 503 South Bluff in downtown Wichita and purchasing secondhand equipment to make pizzas, the Carneys and Bender opened the first "Pizza Hut" restaurant; on opening night, they gave pizza away to encourage community interest. They chose the name "Pizza Hut" since the sign they purchased only had enough space for nine characters and spaces. Additional restaurants were opened, with the first franchise unit opening in 1959 in Topeka, Kansas. The original Pizza Hut building was later relocated to the Wichita State University campus..
Pizza Hut sells "Stuffed Crust" pizza, with the outermost edge wrapped around a coil of mozzarella cheese; "Hand-Tossed," more like traditional pizzeria crusts; "Thin 'N Crispy", a thin, crispy dough which was Pizza Hut's original style; "Dippin' Strips pizza", a pizza cut into small strips that can be dipped into a number of sauces; and "The Edge pizza," where the toppings nearly reach to the edge of the pizza. There was also formerly a crust that was not as thick as Pizza Hut's pan pizza, and not as thin as its thin crust. This crust was used on the Full House XL pizza and discontinued in 2007.
Pizza Hut experiments with new products frequently, with less successful ones being discontinued. These include the initially popular two-foot by one-foot square cut pizza Bigfoot, the 16" Big New Yorker, made with a sweet sauce, the Chicago Dish Pizza and Sicilian pizza, the latter also offered in 2006 as Lasagna Pizza. Other products Pizza Hut has offered are the "P'zone", Pizza Hut's version of the calzone; the Cheesy Bites pizza, similar to the Stuffed Crust pizza except the crust has been divided into 28 bite-sized pieces that can be pulled apart; and the Insider pizza, where a layer of cheese is in between two layers of dough. Another limited time offer was a Double Deep pizza with double the toppings and 50% more cheese, with the crust wrapped over the top to hold in all the toppings. In 1985 Pizza Hut introduced the Priazzo, a two-crusted Italian pie that resembled a deep-dish pizza. Varieties included Priazzo Milano, a blend of Italian sausage, pepperoni, beef, pork fillings, a hint of bacon, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; Priazzo Florentine, a light blend of five cheeses with ham and a touch of spinach, and Priazzo Roma, stuffed with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, pork filling, onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The double-crusted pie was topped with a layer of tomato sauce and melted cheese. The Priazzo was introduced by a $15 million advertising campaign, but proved too labor-intensive and was removed from the menu several years later.