Quick service restaurant (QSR) chain Pizza Hut has begun testing beer delivery at its Arizona locations, according to Tuesday reports from CNBC. Wine delivery is slated for availability in January.
The company announced the test delivery service is live in the Phoenix, Arizona, area for consumers aged 21 and older, and will be offering six-packs of Budweiser, Bud Light, Shocktop and locally brewed craft beer during its initial phase.
Owned by Yum Brands, the Pizza Hut QSR pizza chain already serves both beer and wine in many locations. This meant the brand was well positioned to extend alcohol delivery services to its delivery line-up.
Pizza Hut chose Phoenix as a test market for the new service because other nearby restaurant chain locations already serve beer and wine as part of their delivery offerings, and because the locality offers fairly good insight into national behavior patterns.
Yes, Phoenix is the new Peoria, according to Stacy Lynn Bourgeois, director of brand marketing for Pizza Hut.
The strategic decision to add alcohol to Pizza Hut's delivery offerings was made to help the company distinguish itself from its pizza chain competitors. The brand has been a "major drag" for its parent company's overall earnings.
In fact, according to annual Technomic data released in May 2017, Pizza Hut's piece of the total pizza category had declined from a 25 percent market share in 1995 to 14.3 percent in 2016.
The new Pizza Hut beer (and eventually wine) delivery program will help customers pair their favorite pies with some of their favorite beverages. The beer will arrive cold in a specially designed cooler, and all purchasers must be able to present valid ID.