2020 was meant to be Pizza Hut's year. With the 40th anniversary of its iconic Pan Pizza, the culmination of a two-year digital strategy and the launch of its first global campaign, the brand had big marketing plans.
Then Covid-19 hit. Despite a switch among consumers to takeaway and food delivery, its sales took a hit in the second quarter - the period of the strictest lockdowns in its key marks. System sales (a measure of sales used by franchise companies) fell by 10% in the three months to the end of June.
However, the company's chief brand officer, Christophe Poirier, is quick to point out that it has not all been negative. He explains: “Despite the sadness of the situation we had to reinvent ourselves and work differently. Covid has pushed us to be faster, to react."
One example is that within three weeks of the pandemic hitting, the brand had rolled out contactless delivery across its markets.
He adds: "Covid has accelerated, in one month or two months, things that would have taken years in the past. We are more digital than ever. We are full steam on delivery. We have had to become more efficient in everything we do.”