New Pizza Hut test site in Pawtucket - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

New Pizza Hut test site in Pawtucket

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

PAWTUCKET - It's something you've never seen at a Pizza Hut before... an individual slice you can buy on its own.

It's a new model being tested for the national chain out of two locations.

One in Nebraska, and one right in Pawtucket.

Business is booming at the new Pawtucket Pizza Hut on the corner of Newport and Central ave thanks to the new menu options.

"I think it was good, it was quick, and the variety and the sizes of the slices were pretty good," said Louis Capela who works and lives in Pawtucket.

"The pizza was good!" said a young Nikolai Zacharie.

This location, with it's new slices and new look/layout, is a test site.

But why in Pawtucket?

Because it's a melting pot of all their demographics.

"It's great to have the combination of families... of residential with business... we love folks who love sports, right, so, New England, the Patriots are headed toward maybe another super bowl and  everyone's watching the game, they want pizza," said Bill Ahrens, Senior Operations Director for Pizza Hut.

This isn't the only prototype business that's been a model in Pawtucket... back in 2005 there was also a Dunkin' Donuts that was used. Now, that model is seen all over the country... not just on Cottage street in Pawtucket.

"Rhode Islanders are very food savvy and are very loyal to the Dunkin' Donuts brand. We see Rhode Island as a sophisticated market with an appreciation for quality, flavor and taste in food, making it an ideal market to open our first new prototype restaurant," says Lindsay Harrington, Public Relations Manager for Dunkin' Brands Inc.

"You really want to make sure you have customers that can be representative of where you want to go elsewhere," said Ahrens.

Pizza hut hopes to expand into Taunton next based on the Pawtucket location's feedback.

"That's awesome because Pawtucket's so small and nobody ever things about it so it's something new for the world to see that Pawtucket's actually here," said Kayla Williams who lives just down the road from the new Pizza Hut.

Pizza hut executives also said that Pawtucket makes for a good test site because New Englanders tend to be pickier than others, and so the management will real opinions on what works and what doesn't.

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