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EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Check out how Crust's innovations are bringing wine to your door

QSR Media got in touch with the people behind Crust to talk about the brand's innovative flavours, how it keeps on top of the competition, and the rise of digital ordering.

Crust Gourmet Pizza is one of Australia's biggest pizza chains, with over 200 stores in operation across the country.

QSR Media: What's new at Crust?

Crust have a lot of exciting initiatives on the move at the moment, since the highly successful launch of our first Vegan Pizza in November last year, we have grabbed a hold of the Vegan market and run with it. We are excited to introduce two new Vegan products in the coming month, a new Vegan Pizza which will feature an exotic fruit replicating the taste of succulent pulled pork and a brand new starter bread which will feature Vegan butter.

With the release of the new Grazing Platter, Crust have again proven their commitment to providing customers with a truly gourmet experience. Lamb Ribs served with Mint Yoghurt, charred Chorizo on a bed of Coleslaw, Chilli Jam glazed Tiger Prawns garnished with Fresh Chilli on a bed of Rocket, and Herb & Garlic Strips. Crusts new Grazing Platter really speaks to the food sharing trend and experience.

Crust is also excited to be filling a gap in the market with their gourmet Corporate Catering options. The new Catering solution is due to launch this month, offering an excellent variety for all tastes, ordering is quick and simple, and there is no need to worry about picking up as Crust deliver to your door.

QSR Media: What can you say about the trends and tech innovations in delivery today?

There is no doubt that Crust customers associate Pizza night with fast, efficient delivery, and meeting that need for speed without compromising on quality. We have introduced a new technology in to our stores which allows franchise partners to have greater control and insight to effectively manage and have full visibility over the delivery processes. This not only helps them with reducing delivery times, but also allows for cost and labour efficiencies across the board.

The growth of online third party aggregators into the marketplace has also presented the option of having the delivery of product handled by a third party. This has been a game changer in terms of providing consumers broader choice in food available for delivery and being part of that choice by having our offer available through these channels to attract new customers.

QSR Media: What can you say about the role of digital ordering in the pizza industry today?

Digital ordering is definitely becoming more popular with many customers choosing to order online over instore or on the phone. Personal customer interaction is sometimes lost throughout this process, meaning that online ordering needs to be seamless and satisfying in order to compensate for the lack of personal service.

QSR Media: How does Crust stay ahead of the competition?

At Crust we pride ourselves on being market-leaders in terms of re-imagined Pizza and experiences. We achieve this by working on flavour profiles that other brands wouldn’t usually consider to put on pizza, and we often find imitations in the marketplace after we launch such products! We keep ahead of the latest food trends abroad and at home, we like introducing our customers to food trends before they become mainstream and our excellent product innovations team are always cooking up new and exciting ideas!

QSR Media: What are the current challenges the brand is facing?

A key challenge for Foodservice operators, ourselves included, is the increasing fragmentation of the food delivery market. We focus on doing what we do best and always striving to improve the product and customer experience so that Crust always remains a part of our customers’ takeaway food repertoire. 

QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?

We will of course continue to release new and exciting Menu items, as well as continuing the focus on rolling out the Alcohol delivery proposition across the country, we currently have 6 stores in Melbourne offering this service. Imagine getting your Friday night wine, beer or cider delivered to your door with your Crust Pizza! YES!

Photo credit: Crust Gourmet Pizza Facebook page

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