Company Name – Pizza Hut
Founder – Frank Carney and Dan Carney
With the tagline that says, “No one out pizzas the Hut”, Pizza Hut is undoubtedly one of the most popular Italian-American pizza company with more than 16,796 branches all over the world. As the 6th largest restaurant offering fast food including pizzas, pastas and fries along with desserts and side dishes, Pizza Hut has its headquarters in 7100 Corporate Drive in Plano of Texas in the United States.
Pizza Hut is the wholly owned Yum! Brands Inc subsidiary and its parent company within China is Yum China. Vipul Chawla is the current President of Pizza Hut International and also the Managing Director for the company’s Asia-Pacific division.
How It All Started
It was the month of June in 1958 when Frank and Dan Carney, two brothers from Wichita State University of Kansas started a pizza center with the fund of USD 600 borrowed from their mother and the name Pizza Hut was coined by them as the sign could accommodate only 8 letters in it.
Their aim was to offer a homely ambience to the customers while offering a delectable pizza. Both the brothers made sure of the quality of the products as they were well acquainted with the farmers who grew the pizza ingredients.
In India, Pizza Hut started its foray in June of 1996 with the restaurant chain in Bangalore (Now Bengaluru) which was the pioneer international chain in fast food category. Apart from signature pizzas, the menu was made more customer-specific with pastas, appetizers, beverages and desserts. Brand Equity had been acknowledging it as the most trusted brand for food service for eleven consecutive years.
What started with the initiative of the Carney brothers in the individual location of Wichita, resulted in another pizza outlet within six months interval and six restaurants under the trademark of Pizza Hut within a year! The franchising of Pizza Hut started in 1959 followed by the building style designing in 1963.
By 1977, Pizza Hut was acquired by PepsiCo, the leading beverage company which resulted in a tie-up of products i.e. Pepsi served as beverages with the pizza and side dishes. The first restaurant under Pizza Hut was opened in 1966 in Athens of Ohio and within a short span, Pizza Hut had its branches launched both internationally and Asian markets.
Pan pizza, stuffed crust, hand tossed, thin ‘n crispy, Bigfoot Pizza and Dippin’ Strips are the common products to be launched by Pizza Hut. On 26th March in 1995, the stuffed crust pizza was launched and soon became the most popular product of Pizza Hut till then. The base and side products of Pizza Hut are varying in respect to different regions and for example, there is Curry Zazzle in Southeast Asia.
One of the revolutionary developments was the introduction of the “Space Food” pizza that was created in size of six inch diameter to fit the oven of International Space Station. Pizza Hut also launched the “Natural” version of pizza with natural ingredients on 9th May in 2008 but it was discontinued in October, 2009.
Quite recently on 19th November of 2014, the rebranding of Pizza Hut was begun as a sale increasing strategy and in this initiative the menu was given a new look with different flavors for crust along with eleven specialty pizzas.
Pizza Hut’s marketing strategy and reasons behind its success
-With the networks and resources of Yum, Pizza Hut has been generating business by driving growth from emerging markets and hence, its extensive menu options have always been hit, especially where people like to celebrate over pizzas, fries, beverages and ice-creams or shakes.
-While promoting its products through digital advertising and on social media, Pizza hut knows how to keep its customer base satisfied –through discounts. Offers and discounts often make to the digital and physical media during festivals because this is where local marketing through newspaper clippings and hoardings prove to be beneficial as people love to celebrate when it is a festival.
-Unlike many competitors of Pizza Hut, its different formats of restaurants keep it different from the rest. From family dining locations to carry-out locations, hybrid location to storefront delivery –the restaurant concept is very unique. With change of dining space, the change of menu with new added items has also helped the company to be successful.
Pizza Hut’s Campaigns
Legendary Cricket player Sourav Ganguly coming for a Pizza Hut campaign of social media in the disguise of a delivery boy and ridiculing every shot hit by people taking part in the “Cricket With Ranvijay” has been quite a head-turner as such a campaign with sports personalities is not at all common.
Everyone loves a little bit extra and the “more for less” campaign of Pizza Hut was a promotion for the new overloaded pizza with outweighing toppings than other pizzas in the market. Popular Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput starred in the “Flavors of the world” campaign of Pizza Hut where he is seen sharing different flavored pizza with a number of women and being confused at which one is to choose.
Pizza Hut also made sure to leave no stones unturned in offering the pizza with huge amount of cheese and its “Cheesiest Pizza” campaign in India featured a family consisting of parents and a kid who answered through his muppet and declined to eat the pizza his parents were having, not until he found the pizza had cheese on both upper and lower side.
The Magic Meals campaign also was an advertising campaign to promote the INR 99 per head meal with eleven options for pastas and pizzas having types of toppings.
Being a pizza company which lives its life unboxed, Pizza Hut creates pizza in the most authentic way without any pretention, thanks to its 350 thousand team workers from over a hundred countries who pledge to deliver pizza fast and in any place.
While the international chain of Pizza Hut includes North America’s Mexico and Canada, Australia, UK, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Chile, Costa Rica etc and India as division of Yum! India, the Asian presence consists of Thailand, Japan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam.