The first Pizza Hut located on Texas Tech University’s campus opened Monday, Aug 22 in the Student Union Building. Pizza Hut now joins other dining options such as Chick-fil-a as another major food chain offered to students and faculty.
Alan Cushman, Director of Marketing for TTU Hospitality Services, said the planning for the Pizza Hut started before the pandemic and this year saw the completion of the project.
“The construction and planning on the Student Union food court expansion had actually started before the pandemic but once the pandemic hit it kind of changed timelines that are around for a lot of different places,” Cushman said. “I'm sure you all are aware. And with that change, we kind of had to slow it down. So, we had the opportunity to kind of pick up the construction aspect of it to get it completed and we completely redid the Student Union food court and part of that was bringing Pizza Hut in for this coming academic school year.”
The introduction of another big food chain will complement the dynamic of the food court, Cushman said.
“Well, we've actually had national brands in the student union food court for years. So, I don't think it's going to be any different than past ones,” Cushman said. “Other than the fact that it is a really exciting and new concept to campus. We don't have a Pizza Hut anywhere else. But we know that it is going to be a big draw for students. Pizza Hut is just going to be one of those ones that we're bringing in.”
Bringing in a new food option gives students variety in dining options, Cushman said.
“There are so many students that dine in the Student Union building, having more options and availability is not going to impact the Pizza Hut or the Chick-fil-A,” Cushman said. “As much as I'd like to think that everybody is going to eat at Chick-fil-A every day or Pizza Hut every day, people want variety and that's what the department does when we bring in these different food service locations.”
Mary Garces, Pizza Hut manager in her fourth year working for TTU Hospitality, said the food chain serves a variety of specific menu items.
“We only serve certain items like pepperoni, cheese, meat lovers’, veggies, cinnasticks and chicken alfredo,” Garces said.
Garces said the store expects more traction with the start of the semester.
“It’s been kind of slow now. We’re expecting to pick up when school starts tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.” Garces said.
Pernell Upshaw, a junior Business major from Lubbock, said the opening of the Pizza Hut in the Student Union building is well-received.
“I really love it,” Upshaw said. “It was a great price with the combo and everything. The food is amazing.”