Pizza Hut to Close All Locations in Greece

By Adriaan Brits Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The popular US franchise Pizza Hut has closed all of its stores in Greece. There were a total of 16 stores in the country, resulting in 180 people losing their jobs. According to the company’s public announcement, they have “made great efforts all the previous years to return the stores to positive rates of operation and growth.”

Pizza Hut has been in Greece for 12 years and initially had €23 million ($27 million) invested in the chain stores throughout the country. During its tenure in Greece, the 450 jobs granted opportunities to people, especially with the economic crisis that rose in 2005.

The Bad News

The overseas closures in Greece come on the heels of Pizza Hut declaring bankruptcy in the US, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The people that lost their jobs have received compensation, and all debts have been paid to employees, as they have fulfilled the working laws in Greece as a company.

Greece currently has one US pizza brand left standing - Domino’s. As for other American fast-food chains, McDonald’s is still in the lead, with 25 chain stores still open. However, this isn’t the first time that an American fast-food chain has closed down in Greece.

In 1989, the American franchise Wendy’s had opened as the first fast-food chain to be considered ‘foreign’ in Greece. The first restaurant opened in Syntagma Square and then expanded with 12 restaurants in three cities. However, in 2002 Wendy’s closed down altogether as a franchise in Greece.

The Good News

Even though foreign fast-food chains may struggle to survive in Greece, startup companies are surviving and even thriving in Greece. According to Startup Ranking, there are many startup companies that are reaching huge peaks of success and can be in different fields. The dominant startup company is E Food, which has a similar concept to Uber Eats in the US. The second most dominant startup company is Moosend, which is an email marketing campaign business.

This means that US citizens have a better chance of thriving off startup companies in Greece, with Goldman Sachs being a prime example of investing in $30 million for Persado, another startup company in Greece. This company has specific software that helps in the marketing sector.

Another startup company that now has offices in Seattle, but started in London and Athens, is Resin.io. It focuses on coding software for developers and has reached a huge success, with a backup of an $11 million investment.

ContactPigeon is a prime example that has reached such success as a startup company; it is an email marketing campaign for clients on the mailing list for companies. It now works alongside some of the largest brands in the world, including L'oreal and Body Shop.

Greece does have a fast-growing economy, with plenty of tech startup companies sprouting up and reaching a huge success globally. Taxi Beat is another prime example that started as a startup company and was then sold privately as a business to investors. The company had a similar platform to Uber, but with the usage of yellow taxis instead.

Greece now has an attractive appeal to foreign investments; however, there are regulations that need to be followed to start a company out there. One example is that there needs to be proof of capital, which is 3000,000, plus there has to be less than 10 employees, with 30% being Greek residents. Another step towards setting up a startup company in Greece is to actually submit a proposal in Greek, with the topic relating to the business being beneficial to the economy in Greece.

If foreign business owners cannot follow these regulations, it is better to invest in existing startup companies that are already popular or successful. Offices can then be expanded to the U.S and other locations globally. It is a chance to boost the economy again in both the U.S and Greece, after the pandemic.

Airbnb is an American startup company that is still lasting in Greece, even with the pandemic crisis. Thanks to the rise of tourism in Greece, many travelers globally are using Airbnb again as a last resort to accommodation. Many hotels are still not open in Greece since there was a slow start to tourism in popular islands such as Mykonos and Santorini. Startup companies that focus on tourism can be a huge success for Americans and Greeks, which is another sector that the country thrives on; especially during the spring and summer periods.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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