Well folks, have you missed me? I certainly hope so because I’ve missed all of you. I had to take a brief, two-week hiatus from TRN. It actually started out as just a one-week break to get caught up on some things in my personal life, but then we had a death in the family that pro-longed my absence from the podcast and network as a whole. But I’m back now, and hopefully can get right back into the swing of things.
While I was away, I kept getting hit up on Twitter by folks who have followed me on the web long enough to know of my deep love and appreciation for the way Pizza Hut used to be in the eighties and nineties. Someone had posted a link to a local news story about a Pizza Hut restaurant being converted into a “Pizza Hut Classic” location. Those people were retweeting the tweet and tagging me along with it in hopes I would chime in with my thoughts.
I responded in kind with a few quick thoughts on the matter, but thought I would go just a little deeper on the subject in this column.
For those who haven’t been around long enough to already know my thoughts on the matter, let me refer you to the feature I wrote here on TRN describing my love for the old Pizza Hut in detail, and where I point out where things have veered off course through the years.
If Pizza Hut is seriously going to try and reverse course and get themselves profitable again, turning back the clock to a different era is a good start. They know they were much loved a couple of decades ago and were making good profit, so why not dance with the one who brung ya?
But I’m being cautious in regards to my excitement over it all though. Here where I live, my local Pizza Hut still looks like the traditional Pizza Hut of old. It never got the modern makeover that a lot of their stores did, so it kinda already fits the bill of a Pizza Hut Classic.
It takes more than just decor to recreate what made them the place to beat back in the old days. The biggest thing is their service, and the experience their staff helps to create. Until they recognize that fact, and get back to doing little things like serving the first slice to everyone at the table when they bring the pizza out, then it’s all just for show.
As I described in that feature, going to Pizza Hut wasn’t just another meal out somewhere, it was an experience. An experience that many people besides myself cherished and still long for. I feel like we’re starting to come out of the phase of “cheap and convenient”, and are moving back towards the older mindset of being willing to pay for top quality, service, and overall experience. At least, I know I am.
So I’ll keep my eye on how things progress with the “new” Pizza Hut, but at the same time, I’m going to keep my other eye looking for places that already deliver great experiences to take my kids to so they can create their own nostalgic memories for years down the road.
For those of you wondering what a classic Pizza Hut looks like, you can watch the video below of the remodeled one I mentioned from Warren OH.
Other Notes & Thoughts
- I thought Kevin did a really good job sitting in for me on this past week’s episode of The Retro Network Podcast, and I look forward to hearing Gary’s take on things this week as he fills in for me while I’m still technically on hiatus. If you want to hear more from Kevin, you can catch him every week on The House Show podcast on the TRN Podcast Network reviewing all of the old WWF In Your House wrestling shows from the ’90s, or you can find him at his personal home online, Masked Library.
- Speaking of podcasts, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to recognize The Network passing it’s first major milestone in being online for a year now. We celebrated our first anniversary on June 1, and it’s been quite a ride so far. I sent a note out to everyone in the network thanking them for their efforts over the past year, and I made a comment about our podcasts. I mentioned that I’m still amazed that in just one short year, we’ve built while a bullpen of shows on the feed with our TRN Podcast, The House Show, Wizards: Podcast Guide to Comics, SequelQuest, TRN Game Night, TRN Talk, TRN Round Table, and others. And as just a tease, there is another new something currently being cooked up in our little podcast world, so stay tuned.
- Let me also give a shout out to Jason for the great job he did filling in for me on this week’s episode of Wax Pack Flashback on our YouTube channel. Those Waterworld cards were pretty sweet! And if you didn’t already know, Jason hosts his own video series on the channel called Jay Plays, where he reviews mobile games. It’s pretty fun too and you should be checking it out every Monday.
- We’ve recently had a new addition to the TRN family, Karen Flieger! Her first feature was a very well done look at her Top 5 Strawberry Shortcake Dolls from when she was younger. It was well-written, concise, and loaded with personal memories for you nostalgia lovers. I’m really looking forward to see what she brings next, and excited to have another female voice as part of the Network to help us expand past just stories of action figures and stuff blowing up that all of us guys tend to focus on. Drop her a comment and make her feel welcome!
- And on a sad note, legendary comic book creator Denny O’Neil passed away this week. As a Batman fan throughout the ’90s, I’ve read a lot of his work, as that’s probably what he is best know for in the world of comics. Knightfall is still my favorite Batman saga, and Denny was at the helm for it all as editor of the Bat books at the time. Comics lost an icon, and us readers lost a tremendous creative mind. RIP Denny.
Well that’s going to do it for this week, but before I go, I want to leave you with another video to watch. Since we’re talking about Pizza Hut this week, check out this awesome piece of nostalgia from the late ’80s and early ’90s…a Pizza Hut training video that their new employees had to watch back then. It got me right in the feels. See you next week.