Pizza Hut Pilots Pickup Cubbies

Pizza Hut

In a move that borrows from the world of eCommerce, Pizza Hut is turning to technology to help consumers pick up their pizzas: One of its California restaurants has begun to experiment with “cubbies” for carryout orders, Engadget reported.

Each Amazon Locker-like cubbie at the Hollywood restaurant on Sunset Boulevard has a display with partial names and a lining that keeps drinks cold and food hot. After consumers have paid, they tap on the screen and then take their meals.

The doors to the cubby are locked until a customer arrives in the restaurant and makes his or her payment. As a result, another person presumably won’t be able to take a customer’s pizza before he or she makes it out to the restaurant. According to the outlet, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain is planning more “completely frictionless” stores in cities on the West Coast in 2020.

In separate news, Little Caesars announced last September that it had completed the installation of its proprietary Pizza Portal pickup in nearly all of its U.S. stores. Diners can choose a menu item on the company’s mobile app or opt to create their pizzas through a “custom pizza builder” to order a pizza. They then can scan a coupon code or enter a 3-digit PIN at the machine to retrieve their orders when they arrive at a physical location. Once a consumer is verified, a secured compartment on the device opens, and customers can take out their pizzas.

In a statement at the time, Little Caesars President and CEO David Scrivano, said, “we’re using our Pizza Portal pickup and mobile app to expand our offerings, as well as evolve our business model in an increasingly diverse and digital marketplace.” The idea, according to Scrivano, is to enhance its omnichannel offerings or, in his words, “enhance the guest experience for all customers no matter how they choose to access Little Caesars.”