Pizza Hut – the number two pizza chain in the United States behind Domino’s since 2017 – is looking to get back on top with a new strategy that focuses on something other than its pizza: Beer.
The chain is reportedly expanding its beer delivery program to roughly 1,000 restaurants, while also offering the service to customers within the delivery range of 300 of its restaurants around the Midwest and Southeast. The plan is to roll out the restaurant service by this summer, with plans to go live with the customer delivery service in time for the Super Bowl LIII, which will take place on Sunday, February 3rd.
The move to implement the customer service so quickly makes sense considering Pizza Hut replaced Papa John’s as the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League last year. The company hopes that their new delivery program, along with the Super Bowl, will provide an increase in sales, which is much needed after the one percent sales dip the pizza chained incurred last quarter.
“We’re committed to improving the modern pizza experience – and beer delivery falls into this category,” the company stated. “Our intent now is to make it as seamless as possible, to as many customers as possible, and that will be a win for us.”
But is it too little too late? Pizza and beer are a relatively common pairing in the United States, with plenty of local neighborhood pizzeria/pubs having provided the two products for a lot longer than Pizza Hut. The delivery element will certainly set Pizza Hut apart from those pizza shops, but will it be enough to take over the number one spot from Domino’s?
Probably not anytime soon.
After what it called a “pizza-turnaround,” Domino’s took over the number one spot thanks to its smart marketing strategy, innovations in technology for ordering, and improving the overall quality of its product; strategies that Pizza Hut has admitted have not yet worked for them. Couple that with Domino’s prices running lower than its rival’s, and it makes sense that Domino’s currently sits atop the pizza throne.
It will be interesting to see how well Pizza Hut does with its new strategy, and whether or not the former pizza champ is destined for a permanent fate of second place.