In a sure sign of the times, Pizza Hut has decided to close its two restaurants in Moscow, according to a published report.
The U.S. chain was among the first fast-food businesses to set up shop in the Soviet Union 10 years ago, and recent commercials have even used former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as a pitchman.
But Pizza Hut recently moved out of its location on Moscow’s Kutuzovsky Prospekt and hopes to sell its other outlet on trendy Tverskaya Street by the end of the year, the Moscow Tribune reported during the weekend.
“The expiration of our leases on the Kutuzovsky and Tverskaya properties has coincided with deepening economic problems in Russia,” said Jadek Sas-Uhrnowski, Pizza Hut’s franchise manager for Eastern Europe. “Business has been affected by the crisis, and this has determined our decision to close the Moscow outlets.”
He said Pizza Hut had no plans to close its restaurants in St. Petersburg.
Pizza Hut is a unit of Louisville-based Tricon Global Restaurants Inc.