Carrie Rengers

Longtime Pizza Hut pillar declares bankruptcy

Longtime Pizza Hut franchisee Capital Pizza Huts declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.
Longtime Pizza Hut franchisee Capital Pizza Huts declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. The Wichita Eagle

One of the pillars of Wichita’s Pizza Hut franchisees – and business community in general – has declared bankruptcy.

No one involved is discussing it, but Capital Pizza Huts’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing this week is a hot topic in certain business circles.

The Wichita-based company, which is near 34th North and Webb Road, filed in federal bankruptcy court here on Monday.

Ken Wagnon is president of the company. His office referred calls to a Pizza Hut corporate spokesman in Texas, who did not return calls for comment. Neither did two attorneys representing Capital Pizza Huts.

According to the filing, the company has almost $18.5 million in assets and almost $20.75 million in liabilities with between 100 and 199 creditors.

The largest secured creditor is Intrust Bank, with an $18 million claim secured by property.

The largest unsecured creditor is Dallas-based McLane Co., a food service company, which has a $1.23 million claim.

Also on the list is a Wichita-based Pizza Hut franchise group with a $103,490 claim and the group’s accounting service with a $73,512 claim.

Capital Pizza Huts’ LinkedIn page says the company has been in business since the 1980s and has 86 restaurants in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

The page also shares the story of how Wichita brothers Dan and Frank Carney started the business in 1958.

“In 1967, Wichita resident Ken Wagnon and some friends met the Carney brothers and decided that this Pizza Hut business might be something they would like to try,” the page says. “If they worked diligently, they thought, they might be able to open as many as five restaurants.”

It’s not clear how many restaurants the company has today, but its LinkedIn account says it has between 1,001 and 5,000 employees.

The court filing also lists two years of gross revenues for the company. Revenues were $31.5 million in 2015 and $28.5 million in 2016.

Look for more information as it becomes available.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers