Find out how the global pizza chain plans to evolve after operating for more than half a century.
Throughout Pizza Hut’s long 60-year history, the global pizza industry has seen much change. As consumer demands evolve to cater to increasingly busy lifestyles, and to adopt technological advancements like mobile ordering technology, players in the pizza segment have found the need to continually pursue innovation to achieve growth.
None more so than Pizza Hut. When the brand’s first restaurant appeared in Belfield, Sydney in 1970, the pizza chain still sported its iconic Red Roof dine-in format. Nowadays, with around 300 outlets operating across Australia, only 17 stores follow a dine-in model, with the majority being pick-up and delivery based.
“Pizza Hut would not have lasted this long without adapting and evolving with the market. Pizza Hut has worked hard over the years to keep up with changing trends and needs - we were the first to offer delivery, we invented the fan-favourite ‘Stuffed Crust’ in the mid-90s, and our menu and offers are constantly being updated,” Joanne Moss, EGM Corporate Affairs at Pizza Hut Australia, told QSR Media.
“Currently, there are now more Pizza Hut restaurants in Australia than ever before but the majority of locations today operate a pick-up and delivery model rather than the iconic ‘Red Roof’ restaurants; that’s a significant change reflecting shifting consumer tastes. Keeping a close ear and eye on what Australian consumers want, and anticipating future demand, is hardwired into our business.”
While Moss said that the brand has been “part of the Australian fabric for several generations” and that Pizza Hut’s 60th anniversary has seen significant attention from consumers and the media alike, it was only through this constant reinvention that the brand managed to maintain its relevance to the public.
“When you’ve been around for a long time, the challenge is always staying relevant and meeting the changing tastes and preferences of our guests. Part of our ethos is doing everything possible to ensure a memorable customer experience, in terms of both our food and our people. That means working hard constantly to keep our menu fresh and compelling, and making sure our staff are well trained and have bought into a high-quality service ethic,” she said.
Pizza Hut also believes in sticking to their values despite evolving preferences.
“While the market and consumer tastes – globally and in Australia – have changed dramatically over the years, one of the things that has underpinned the resilience of the Pizza Hut brand is remaining true to our founding principles: use the best ingredients available, prepare our pizzas fresh, develop new and exciting products, and be passionate about serving pizza with a smile. They’re simple values but essential to sustained, long-term success,” Moss said.
As it aims to take a bigger bite out of the Australian pizza segment, Pizza Hut plans to double down on its customer-centric brand strategy, committing to further investments in technology to enhance customer experience like its global counterparts.
“The focus on guests’ experience remains central to what we’re doing. There is a new Australian leadership team in place and we’re working very hard to embrace our franchisee partners and to collaborate with and support them. We are also bringing new levels of consistency, creativity and quality to the guest offering. Technology will be part of this and so will our people development. Watch this space,” she said.
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