SYLACAUGA, Ala. – A local favorite in the Sylacauga community, Pizza Hut made its return to town official with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony coordinated by the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce.
“We couldn’t be any more proud to have Pizza Hut back in Sylacauga,” said Executive Director of the Chamber, Laura Strickland. “Our community has waited for this. It’s a good day to have you back.”
Located at 620 W Fort Williams St. in the Dirt Cheap parking lot, Pizza Hut returns after a two and a half year hiatus in Sylacauga.
“We’re excited to be here,” said John McGowan, Chief Operating Officer of JJB Brands. “This is the 21st century [version] of what Pizza Hut looks like. We’re very happy about what this town has done for our brand.”
JJB started in 2017 as a Mississippi-based franchisee of 35 Pizza Hut locations. Since then, JJB has expanded into Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida as well as opening Checker’s and Moe’s restaurants.
“In the first four weeks of opening this store,” McGowan noted, “this place has been very, very strong for us. It has exceeded our expectations.”
The goal, according to McGowan, was $15,000 a week in sales. In the first two weeks of operating, Sylacauga’s Pizza Hut amassed over $40,000 each week. This set a new record for any JJB-owned Pizza Hut.
Regional general manager LaToya Debardlabon attributed that success to the “culture” instilled in her team at the Hut and the way she and her employees treat their customers.
“Pizza Hut’s been missing for [almost] three years now, and I know a lot of people want Pizza Hut,” said Debardlabon. “I think out hospitality had a lot to do with it as well as the atmosphere.”
Debardlabon is no stranger to working at Pizza Hut having held positions at the old Sylacauga location, but she says the new management at JJB brings a “sense of family” to the organization that prior to their involvement was lacking.
“They don’t treat you like you’re just a person that works for them,” Debardlabon expressed. “They are very loving people when it comes to how they treat their [general managers] and their crew. I’ve never had bosses like this. It’s extraordinary.”
Pizza Hut in Sylacauga opens every day at 10:30 a.m. and serves customers until 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.