Pizza Hut is a restaurant chain that isn’t afraid of some extreme delivery requests. It was the first brand to deliver a pizza to the White House and even sent a pizza to the International Space Station. But the company’s latest feat is a record breaker.
The Yum Brands (YUM) company says it has set a Guinness World Record for Highest Altitude Pizza Delivery by taking a pizza over 19,000 feet above sea level to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is the tallest mountain in Africa.
The pizza’s days-long journey was to mark Pizza Hut’s recent restaurant opening in Tanzania, the 100th country that the chain operates in globally. Pizza Hut, with over 16,000 restaurants, now operates in nine African countries including South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique. It will open restaurants later this month in Ghana and Uganda, bringing the total up to 11.
Randall Blackford, general manager of Pizza Hut Africa, tells Fortune that the expansion into Tanzania felt special.
“We have this heritage of delivering to unusual places,” Blackford said. “We thought to ourselves, ‘What if we delivered a pizza to the summit of Kilimanjaro and set a new Guinness World Record to mark the expansion to the 100th country around the world.'” Blackford said Pizza Hut was officially awarded the record shortly before his interview with Fortune.
A group of five individuals took turns hiking up the pizza – a pepperoni pie with extra cheese – from base camp. The pie was held in a special backpack that had a battery-operated heater to keep the pizza warm. It was still steaming when the team ate the pizza at the top of the mountain, though Blackford said it went cold quickly as it was roughly 20 degrees outside.
Pizza Hut is known for splashy marketing blitzes like this one. But when it comes to the African market, it is lagging far behind Yum sister brand KFC, which has over 800 locations on the continent. Blackford says KFC’s success proves that Western quick-serve restaurant concepts can find success in Africa.