With digital innovation in delivery and click-and-collect in its quick-service restaurants (QSRs), Yum! Brands reported that worldwide system sales excluding foreign currency translation increased 10 percent, with Taco Bell at 13 percent, KFC at 11 percent and Pizza Hut at 7 percent. The company opened 1,029 net units for 4 percent net unit growth, as reported in its fourth-quarter results.
Yum! Brands Chief Executive Officer David Gibbs reported that KFC U.S. continues to partner with Grubhub to add locations for delivery as well as click and collect. “We now have over 2,800 locations offering delivery and 3,800 restaurants available for click and collect,” Gibbs said on a call with analysts on Thursday (February 6). KFC delivered fourth-quarter system sales growth of 8 percent and 3 percent same-store sales growth with 7 percent net new unit growth.
Fourth-quarter system sales growth for Pizza Hut was flat, excluding the benefit of Telepizza, with same-store sales decline of 2 percent and 1 percent net new unit growth. System sales growth for the year grew 2 percent, excluding the benefit of Telepizza, with flat same-store sales and 1 percent net new unit growth. Pizza Hut U.S., which represents 8 percent of Yum’s operating profit, excluding corporate and unallocated items, reported system sales and same-store sales declines of 4 percent with a 2 percent net new unit decline in the fourth quarter.
Pizza Hut U.S. is still a business in transition, Gibbs said, and the company has made improvements over the last three years in food quality, speed of service, its loyalty program and upgrading its technology for online ordering as well as delivery. But Gibbs noted that significant opportunity remains with more consistent execution of its customer experience across delivery as well as carryout, among other initiatives.
For Taco Bell, last year marked the eighth consecutive year of positive same-store sales growth, which Gibbs said is a testament to the power of the brand and excellent customer experiences delivered by the company’s franchisees. Fourth-quarter system sales grew 7 percent with 4 percent same-store sales growth and 4 percent net new unit growth.
2019 also marked the completion of the company’s nationwide kiosk rollout to nearly 6,500 restaurants. Gibbs said that kiosks offer a “modern” and “easy” interface that lets diners explore the menu and customize their favorite items.
International continued to have a strong sales momentum for the year, with highlights including India, Canada, Japan and Europe.
The company also made strides in its All Access initiatives during the quarter, including piloting loyalty in the United Kingdom and adding kiosks in four markets including Spain, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia.