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Tuesday was National Pizza Day, so when customers of a well-known chain of Italian pie restaurants wanted to order one, they found the local location was closed.

A sign in the door of Waverly’s Pizza Hut restaurant at 1203 W. Bremer Ave. said that the business is no longer open. In fact, the sign did read “This Pizza Hut is temporarily closed” with the word temporarily crossed out, with information directing customers to visit its Cedar Falls location instead.

A spokesperson with NPC International, the franchisee of the Waverly Pizza Hut, referred Waverly Newspapers to a press release where the closed restaurant is one of 300 shuttered as part of a reorganizing agreement with the chain’s parent company, Yum! Brands. It is part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan by NPC.

“As part of our restructuring process, we made the very difficult decision to close the Waverly, Iowa, Pizza Hut restaurant on Feb. 9,” the spokesperson said. “We did not take this decision lightly, and we are committed to providing support to impacted employees.

“Ultimately, these actions will best position our remaining restaurant business for success. NPC continues to operate many other Pizza Hut restaurants across the country which remain open for business.”

On the local restaurant’s Facebook page, one customer commented on a post about National Pizza Day at about 5 p.m. Tuesday that he was unable to place an order online or by phone. An employee of the restaurant noted the location was closed permanently.

Then on the Waverly Iowa Online Town Hall Facebook page, another customer queried about Pizza Hut’s status, which another user confirmed the closure.

NPC International, based in Leawood, Kansas, is Pizza Hut’s largest franchisee in the U.S., with 1,227 locations that represents approximately 20% of the chain’s restaurant base domestically. Yum! also owns KFC and Taco Bell and is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

There are four other Pizza Hut locations within a 25-mile radius of Waverly. Three of them are strictly carry-out/delivery locations: 6719 University Ave. in Cedar Falls, 1130 Ansborough Ave. in Waterloo and 714 La Porte Road in Waterloo; and the other at 1003 Blunt Parkway in Charles City is also carry-out only.

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