By Laura Stampler
December 5, 2018

With fewer customers eating at brick-and-mortar Pizza Hut locations, the Yum Brands subsidiary is investing to enhance its online ordering experience.

In a Tuesday release, Pizza Hut announced that it’s made “a definitive agreement” to buy QuikOrder, an aptly named company that provides restaurants with ordering software and services. Although the terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, the pie purveyor said that it was one of the company’s largest acquisitions to date.

According to the industry publication Restaurant Business, Pizza Hut’s deal represents a bid to take on Domino’s, which has used its internally developed technology to dominate the delivery pizza sector. In fact, Pizza Magazine Quarterly’s 2019 Pizza Power Report“—aka the only power report that actually matters—noted that the third quarter of 2018 marked the first time that Domino’s had ever overtaken Pizza Hut in total sales.

In fact, Domino’s execs reportedly think of themselves as “an e-commerce company that happens to sell pizza,” SVP of e-commerce development and emerging technologies Kelly Garcia told Forbes last January.

While Pizza Hut has used QuikOrder’s platform for two decades, Pizza Hut U.S. president Artie Starrs said in the release they’re “doubling down” on its digital commitment in buying the software company.

“We’re also gaining access to an immensely talented group of developers and digital innovators,” Starrs said. “Together we can more quickly provide breakthrough products and convenient services to our customers that will allow for better franchise economics over the long term.”

CNBC notes that the purchase also gives Pizza Hut, and thus other Yum chains like KFC and Taco Bell, consumer information that, until now, lived in QuikOrders’ database as a third-party service party.

This news perhaps overtakes Pizza Hut’s recent foray into beer delivery as the most important way the company is innovating its ordering game.

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