The pizza chain is also hoping to improve service with technological upgrades, too.
It’s been a little less than three years since Pizza Hut attempted to rebrand itself as a more upscale pizza option with its “Flavor of Now” campaign, offering a mix of fancy crusts and toppings. That effort was largely deemed unsucessful – earlier this year, CEO Greg Creed of Yum! Brands, the owner of Pizza Hut, said that the chain was “clearly in turnaround mode” – so now, it appears the brand is going back to one of pizza’s biggest basics… delivery.
Pizza Hut has announced it plans to put a massive focus on delivery moving forward both behind the scenes and on the ground. The brand – which is still the largest pizza chain in the US both in sales and locations – plans to significantly update its delivery technology as well as hire 3,000 new drivers a month for the rest of 2017, adding about 14,000 new drivers in all. The hope is that these changes will improve the accuracy and reliability of deliveries. “We have been in the service business for almost 60 years, and our commitment to providing the best, most reliable delivery service and overall experience is as strong now as it ever has been,” Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut’s U.S. operations, said in a statement.
Though the massive number of new drivers, which will be a mix of full-time and part-time employees, is clearly the biggest attention grabber, the technological upgrade to Pizza Hut’s delivery system may have a bigger impact. The company says it’s “developed a proprietary delivery network algorithm that will significantly change its pizza delivery business.” When predicting how long a delivery will take, the new system supposedly “will account for variable factors such as weather, construction, traffic and other irregularities.” Pizza Hut also says it’s worked with Google Maps to improve the chain’s ability to locate customers and let them know which Pizza Hut locations are closest to them.
“We are serious about this,” said Pizza Hut COO Nicolas Burquier – reassuring those of you who thought the Hut might just be JK LOL-ing – “and this focus and commitment to the best delivery experience will hopefully help some customers re-assess the brand if they haven't tried us in a while or haven't had us deliver a pizza before.” It’s certainly an interesting strategy: All the awesome crusts and toppings in the world don’t mean anything if your pie shows up late and cold… or not at all.