Name change for Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is changing its name in a bid to overhaul the company's image and menu, it announced today.

After 35 years of trading in the UK under the name Pizza Hut, the company will now become Pasta Hut.

The rebranding is part of an extensive £100m six-year refurbishment programme that will revamp the chain's restaurant interiors, introduce a new menu and extend its number of outlets.

This year alone it has spent more than £17m updating some of its 700-strong UK chain and said a further £24m will be invested in refurbishment and new store openings in 2009 and 2010.

In a bid to fall in with Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines it has introduced a new pasta menu and made some of its existing recipes more healthy,

In 2004 the company launched a programme to reduce salt in its food and said it is working to meet the FSA's salt targets for 2010.

All traces of hydrogenated vegetable oils have been removed from the menu, and there is also an ongoing saturated fat removal programme.

The children's menu will now include "hidden vegetables" and a complimentary side salad.

Alasdair Murdoch, Pizza Hut chief executive officer, said: "We have made significant changes to the business over the past few years and we wanted to create a moment in time for people to sit back and take notice.

"With 120 refurbished stores, the introduction of a great new pasta range to the menu and big nutritional changes, I am confident that people will like what they see when they come into our restaurants."

Pizza Hut has also focused on its online business, which it launched in March 2007.

In June 2008 it took its one millionth online order and online sales now contribute towards 18 per cent of its entire delivery sales.

Pizza Hut launched in the UK in 1973 and has over 700 restaurants in the UK.