LONDON: "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore," the rat pack's Dean Martin famously crooned. For the UK arm of Pizza Hut, such romantic aspirations appear to be off the menu, as the restaurant chain rebrands as Pasta Hut in an effort to attract new customers.

The company – which has over 700 branches in the British Isles – launched its new brand on Monday, and is set to spend some £100 million ($176m; €129m) on improving its restaurants, opening more outlets and developing its menu over the next six years.

While the chain will still sell pizzas, the change of name has resulted from a desire to show that it now offers a range of healthier meals, as well as a variety of new pasta-based dishes.

Says chief executive Alasdair Murdoch: "We're doing it to try to attract customers who probably haven't been for a few years."

Pizza Hut opened its first UK franchise in London in 1973, but has increasingly focused on its home delivery and online ordering in recent years.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff