Can Pizza Hut Find the Secret Sauce to Digital Success?

The Plano-based pizza chain is committing to new ways to order and market its food in an increasingly digital world.

pizza hut

No matter how you slice it, selling pizza is becoming an increasingly tech-driven industry. Just ask Plano-based Pizza Hut.

A division of Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut is stepping up its digital game beyond just being able to order food from its website, or via its app.

Now, according to media and marketing site Digiday, you can speak to Amazon Echo by saying “Alexa, ask Pizza Hut for a pizza.” And you’ll be able to do the same with Google Home soon.

“We are always a pizza company, but we view tech as a way to help customers get better pizza,” said Chris Dargis, chief e-commerce officer for Pizza Hut U.S. “Pizza Hut understands that digital, especially mobile, is where consumers are, and we want to step up the game around that.”

“Pizza Hut is offering not only customization with their food, but customization in how you order it, whether it be through Facebook, a mobile app or tracking your order online.”
Lisa White

Pizza Hut is trying to keep up with competitors such as Domino’s, which has gone even more high-tech in its ordering methods, Digiday said.

“Pizza Hut is offering not only customization with their food, but customization in how you order it, whether it be through Facebook, a mobile app, or tracking your order online,” Lisa White, associate editor for Restaurant Business told Digiday.

Executives are working hard to find local tech talent that help step up the restaurant chain’s digital game.

Dargis told Digiday that Pizza Hut must compete with tech firms, financial institutions, and local startups to find tech talent in Dallas-Fort Worth. He said the company’s strong work culture and potential for growth work in Pizza Hut’s favor.

“When it comes to digital, the pizza category that requires quick delivery outpaces other categories,” he said. “So if you want to work for a consumer brand, pizza is a great vertical.”

Pizza Hut is making its digital moves as the company is struggling. Same store sales were down in the first two quarters of this year, Yum! Brands reported. Yum!’s other brands, Taco Bell and KFC, both showed growth in those periods.

According to Digiday, Yum! Brands will spend roughly $130 million in 2018 on Pizza Hut’s equipment, delivery technology, e-commerce, and advertising.


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