The Bangkok Post reported March 1 that Pizza Hut will reduce expansion in Thailand in 2002, to focus on growing same-store sales.

Last year, 67 Pizza Huts opened there, while this year the plan is to open 15.

Panithan Sethabutra, managing director for Tricon Restaurants (Thailand), said the company wants to grow its patron base.

"Tricon's success does not rely on having many outlets, our target is to make Pizza Hut and KFC consumers' first choice," he told the Post.

Amid growing competition in the Thai fast-food market, Panithan said the company will work to promote product quality and value, without cutting prices.

"Concept food restaurant chains will become a serious indirect threat to fast-food restaurants," Srun Smutkochon, a Tricon Restaurants spokesman. "It is more likely that consumers will eat noodles every day when compared with pizza and fried chicken."

Srun also said the company would consider adding more native Thai products to its menus, and focus seriously on local store marketing.

In other Pizza Hut news ...
The Canberra Times reported Feb. 28 that Pizza Hut will expand its carryout-delivery network in South Australia by first closing seven dine-in units.

Rising demand for carryout in Australia also led the company to reconfigure its 15 old-style restaurants in Adelaide.

Pizza Hut is scheduled to open nine takeout units over the next six months, raising the "red-roof" number in the Adelaide area to 28.

There are some 350 Pizza Huts in Australia.

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