Partnerships / Acquisitions

Pizza Hut Shifts Focus To Delivery, Buys Order-Ahead Platform

Pizza Hut Buys QuikOrder in Largest Acquisition

Pizza Hut, a unit of Yum! Brands, announced Wednesday (Dec. 5) that it will acquire QuikOrder, an online ordering software and service provider for the restaurant industry.

In a press release, Pizza Hut said terms of the deal were not disclosed, but that this is its largest acquisition to date. By purchasing OuikOrder’s online ordering capabilities, Pizza Hut said it will improve its ability to deliver a personalized online ordering experience and speed up digital innovation across its more than 6,000 restaurants in the U.S.

QuikOrder has worked with Pizza Hut U.S. for close to two decades. Pizza Hut noted that so far this year, about half of its U.S. sales were processed via the QuikOrder platform. QuikOrder, which launched in 1997, focuses on developing and maintaining internet ordering systems that are used across the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry.

The acquisition will include Pizza Hut’s current digital ordering platforms, systems and services, and QuikOrder’s in-restaurant technology and ancillary services, as well as its future-generation products and programming.

“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 the press release. “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 said the acquisition supports the company’s vow to expand its digital capabilities by taking advantage of the platform QuikOrder created for Pizza Hut. It builds on the transformation agreement the company reached with its franchisees, which focused on improving operations and accelerating technology enhancements and eCommerce capabilities.

“We’ve enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Pizza Hut, and I couldn’t be more pleased by this next phase of our relationship,” said Jim Kargman, QuikOrder CEO, in the press release. “Technology and innovation are the backbones of this business, and I’m excited by what the future holds.”

The deal is expected to close later in December.

Separately Yum Brands reported same-store sales growth Wednesday (December 6)  of between 2 percent and 3 percent for its fiscal year 2019 and said it planned to lower the number of dine-in operations as it focuses more on delivery. Reuters, citing the company, reported dine-in assets at Pizza Hut international will be reduced by about 25 percent over the course of the next three to five years from 42 percent. Similar cuts are targeted for the U.S. operations as well, reported Reuters.  “We are migrating out of many of our dine-in assets to delivery assets in the United States,” Chief Financial Officer David Gibbs said in an interview with Reuters.

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