Fact Check

Are Subway and Pizza Hut Closing Down in 2020?

A misleading ad circulated on various websites.

Published Dec. 18, 2020

 ( Presley Ann/Getty Images for Pizza Hut)
Image Via Presley Ann/Getty Images for Pizza Hut
Restaurant chains Pizza Hut and Subway are closing down in 2020.
What's True

Subway and Pizza Hut announced plans to close a number of restaurant locations in 2020.

What's False

The restaurant chains are not closing down completely.

In mid-December 2020, a misleading advertisement circulated on various websites. The ad stated that the restaurant chains Subway and Pizza Hut were "closing" in 2020.

We didn't find any evidence that these businesses were closing down completely in 2020. But there were news reports in 2020 that both Pizza Hut and Subway closed individual restaurants.

In the case of Pizza Hut, CNBC reported in August 2020 that the chain was closing 300 locations due to bankruptcy of its parent company and a potential sale of remaining locations.

And in the case of Subway, Business Insider reported in November 2020 that the chain has suffered a decline in sales over recent years, closing more than 1,000 restaurants in 2019 with more slated for 2020.

We found no credible news reports that either of these restaurant chains was closing down for good in 2020, however.

Subway and Pizza Hut are just two of many major restaurant franchises hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Business Insider, many well-known chains including McDonald's and IHOP are permanently closing some locations as the pandemic wears on.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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