Pizza Hut steps up online ordering with QuikOrder acquisition

Pizza Hut steps up online ordering with QuikOrder acquisition

Chain says it is ‘doubling down’ on digital with software company purchase

Pizza Hut said Tuesday that its U.S. division will acquire QuikOrder, an online ordering platform, in an effort to improve its digital ordering capabilities.

The purchase is the latest in a series of ongoing tech moves in the competitive pizza delivery space, led by Pizza Hut and its main rival Domino’s. 

The QuikOrder deal includes Pizza Hut's current digital ordering platforms, systems and services and QuikOrder's in-restaurant technology, as well as all future generation products and programming, the company said. 

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close this month, were not disclosed, but the restaurant company called it “one of Pizza Hut’s largest acquisitions to date.”

"We're doubling down on our commitment to digital and this deal positions Pizza Hut perfectly for the future," said Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut U.S. in a statement. "We're also gaining access to an immensely talented group of developers and digital innovators. 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."

Pizza Hut did not divulge specific goals of the acquisition but said that it will improve the chain’s ability to provide an “easy and personalized online ordering experience” through “greater flexibility and efficiency.”

The move comes on the heels of other tech-driven developments at the chain, including the development of a fully automated robotic kitchen built into a zero-emissions truck.

Meanwhile, rival Domino’s, an early adopter in the restaurant tech space, has touted the success of HotSpots initiative, which facilitates delivery to locations without addresses, such as parks or beaches, as well as playful enhancements to its app like a virtual dinner bell. It also recently said it was investing in non-customer-facing technology, including voice-activated and mobile technology to streamline store operations for franchisees.

Pizza Hut’s relationship with QuikOrder is not entirely new. The pizza chain had been utilizing QuikOrder’s platform for more than two decades, but this acquisition will allow Pizza Hut to build upon their current platform and accelerate the release of new digital products and services, Carol Clements, chief technology officer of Pizza Hut said.

“There is a significant focus on mobile, which is our fastest growing channel,” Clements said. “We also have some exciting initiatives underway to deliver a more personalized experience for our customers, elevating the digital experience for our Hut Rewards members.”

A Pizza Hut representative confirmed that QuikOrder’s headquarters will remain in Chicago and will “expect little disruption to [QuikOrder’s] business and workforce.” Pizza Hut will also continue to comply with QuikOrder’s current contracts and will work with these outside businesses to transfer them to new platforms.

Yum’s CEO Greg Creed said the acquisition “strengthens the brand's digital roadmap and innovation and aligns with the strategy we put in place to drive Pizza Hut's growth.”

Pizza Hut has more than 16,800 restaurants around the world. Of those, about 7,500 are in the U.S.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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