“The Grubhub partnership has been great,” Radley says. “As of now, we’re still in the pilot phase and don’t plan to expand to any other third-party delivery systems.”
Other tests and innovations are expanding, though. During Yum!’s most recent earnings call, leaders credited Pizza Hut’s two-year-old Hut Rewards loyalty program and new value menu with helping to drive an uptick in transactions. Hut Rewards was revamped in October 2018 to allow for points accumulation across all ordering platforms—online, phone, and in store. Pizza Hut also used the platform to tie into its multiyear marketing deal with the NFL by offering a Hut Rewards member-only discount on NFLShop.com Super Bowl LIII merchandise. The initial success of Pizza Hut’s $5 value-menu, launched fall 2018, led the way for an extended $5 ‘N Up Line Up menu. As of July 2019, Pizza Hut is offering up eight menu items at $5 each, including desserts, sides, and beverages.
The change also allowed franchisees to address local economic factors, particularly in higher wage markets, by offering the same items at more flexible price points.
Additionally, on the menu side, the brand updated its Original Pan Pizza for the first time in 40 years, replacing the sauce, cheese blend and baking pan in hopes of delivering a crispier crust. And, beer delivery to 300 locations across seven states continues.
“The combo of cold beer and pizza is an absolute no-brainer, and the response from customers so far is affirmation,” Radley says. “As the only pizza delivery company that can offer this, we’ll continue to lead the charge and are focused on expanding the beer delivery program.”
Pizza Hut categorizes such moves as a “holistic approach to creating a customer experience that no one else can provide like Pizza Hut.” What Pizza Hut is not doing, Radley says, is abandoning dine-in all together.
“We’re simply giving our customers what they want,” Radley says. “... We know some of them look forward to sitting down in our restaurants and enjoying their pizza under the red roof. But we also know that many prefer the convenience of delivery or carrying out.”