Dallas-Based Pizza Hut Runs California Franchisee Out of Business

Earlier this year, we brought you the story of the Pizza Hut deliveryman in Iowa canned by the Dallas-based company after he shot a stick-'em-up man who faked a delivery call. Now, further tales from Dallas Parkway pepperoni HQ: the story of a couple in Eureka, California, forced to shut down their Pizza Hut after the mothership filed suit against them in a Dallas court for failing to ... upgrade their cash registers. Said Pizza Hut, that was "damaging their corporate image."

Making the switch would have cost the couple, who bought a struggling location two years ago, some $15,000 -- plus several thousand a year in licensing fees. They refused, because they wanted to be able to pay their 16 employees instead. To which Pizza Hut said, Tough. Owner Don Davenport says Pizza Hut flew him to Dallas last month to strike a deal -- he'd upgrade, but not have to pay the annual fees -- only to return to California and find out, Tough. Says the former owner, convinced this was all over Pizza Hut's desire to open an outlet in a nearby Target, "They flew me out there after hours of mediation and time spent haggling in front of the judge just to tell me that I needed to close my store." --Robert Wilonsky

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