Pizza Hut preps ‘major’ marketing push

Pizza Hut is to ramp up marketing spend in the new year as part of a wider £20m expansion plan in response to increased competition from rival home delivery services such as Domino’s Pizza.

Pizza Hut will open 100 new stores next year as part of a wider £20m marketing push

The marketing push will look to boost awareness of the brand’s restaurant offering, which was overhauled last year, and encourage consumers to use its ‘Pizza Hut Delivery’ service.

It will also see the business open 100 new stores across the UK by 2014 as well as launch a franchise incentive scheme developed to support the additional stores. Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of US food business Yum Brands, has 300 restaurants in England, Wales and Scotland but hopes to increase its number to 700 in the long term to match Domino’s, which has 748 stores across the UK.

Spokesman Mark Fox says: “Our investment will increase our marketing spend, drive the outlet numbers, and visibility of Pizza Hut Delivery and create opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses quickly. We hope and expect the whole system to benefit from this great investment in the Pizza Hut Delivery brand in the UK.”

Pizza Hut says the “aggressive expansion plan” will look to amplify the brand and increase its market share following gains by Domino’s in recent years. Domino’s has ramped up its mobile and social spend during this period to drive online orders.

The restaurant’s decision comes amid rapid growth in online ordering for home delivery pizzas as consumers opt to order in rather than eat out during the recession. Domino’s revealed that it took nearly 60 per cent of its orders online in the third quarter, increasing online sales during the period by 39.3 per cent to £62.8m.

The announcement comes a week after Pizza Hut launched a new pizza-scented perfume last week ‘Eau de Pizza Hut’, which the company claims smells like freshly baked dough mixed with ‘a little bit of spice.’ The brand is giving away 110 bottles of the fragrance to via a Facebook competition.

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