Pizza Hut's year-over-year sales reportedly fell 2.2% in 2021 compared with 2020, dropping it to 12th overall in the survey of the most profitable U.S. quick-service restaurants.
But the pizza chain has a different kind of worry today — on the public relations end.
Pizza Hut has apparently drawn the ire of parents and concerned citizens alike after the company promoted a book about "drag kids" for its "Book It" reading incentive program.
The promotion seemingly coincides with "Pride Month," which is June.
Pizza Hut is promoting the book "Big Wig," about a little boy who dresses up in drag and dons a magical wig.
The book is apparently geared to children in the pre-kindergarten to third-grade range, according to MSN.
Citing a Breitbart News report, the Pizza Hut promotion pledges to "award [children] a free one-topping pizza if they are able to meet a monthly reading goal. 'Big Wig' was promoted in the summer reading program Camp BOOK IT!"
Breitbart also wrote:
"Other books with LGBT undertones to coincide with Pride Month, which is celebrated by the left in June. "Be Amazing," written by Desmond Napoles, is about "the history of the LGBTQ community."
''As Breitbart News' John Nolte wrote in 2018, Napoles, aged 11 at the time, was filmed at a New York gay bar dressed in drag while dancing in front of adults."
Pizza Hut's promotional efforts with "Big Wig" prompted a firestorm of comments from people in all walks of life, particularly conservatives.
On Thursday, Act for America founder and chairwoman Brigitte Gabriel said, "Pizza Hut has gone full woke, now we must make them full broke."
And three days later, Gabriel urged her followers to think locally with pizza cravings.
"Pizza Hut is woke pizza, order local instead!"
Last week, the popular @LibsofTikTok Twitter account shared images depicting the book's cover and other titles, along with the following tweet:
".@pizzahut sponsors a program which incentivizes kids in PreK-6th grade to read books. This week, one of their suggested books is 'Big Wig.' A book about a child who becomes a drag performer."
Social media users were also upset with Pizza Hut's promotional choice, with one person writing, "So aside from terrible pizza we have another reason to never walk into Pizza Hut again."Another Twitter user wrote: "Pizza Hut will no longer have my business."
In 2021, Pizza Hut reportedly posted the second-highest sales of any national pizza chain — at $1.55 billion — second only to Domino's.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.