Pizza Hut President: 'This Environment Is Really Poised Well' For Us

Pizza Hut customers are "super excited" with the prospect of being able to order a pizza with plant-based toppings as part of a nationwide partnership with Beyond Meat Inc BYND, Pizza Hut Interim President Kevin Hochman said Wednesday in a Fox Business interview.

Value Proposition: The Yum! Brands, Inc. YUM pizza chain continues to position itself to grab market share in the struggling restaurant industry by offering the convenience of carry-out and delivery at a "really fair price" for "cash-strapped" customers, the executive said.

The pizza chain saw a 6% same-store sales growth in the third quarter and this marks the best reading in a "long time."

"This environment is really poised well for pizza, as well as our chicken business," he said. "People are looking for comforting meals that they can eat in the comfort and safety of their own home."

Recent momentum could not only sustain but expand once a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus makes it safe again for people to return to dine-in establishments. Pizza Hut oversees "several thousand" restaurants with closed or limited dine-in areas.

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Digital Component: Pizza Hut's business was "positioned to win" during the pandemic given an already established digital business, Hochman said. Pizza Hut was able to leverage its existing technology to become the first nationwide chain to facilitate contactless curbside pickup. This allows customers to order a pizza from their phone and have an employee place the pie in the trunk.

Pizza Hut's emphasis on safer options is one of the reasons why it was "rewarded" with new market share during the pandemic.

New Pizza Reveal: 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of its iconic Pan Pizza and the company wants to celebrate its milestone with a fun and novelty item: a 15-pound luxury gravity blanket that sells for $150 as of Nov. 18.

"Why don't we combine the comfort of our original Pan Pizza with one of these gravity blankets," he said.

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