Pizza Hut celebrated the 20th anniversary of online ordering last week with a special 50% discount offer to customers who buy any medium or large pizza over the Internet January 1-10. Pizza Hut's digital ordering hub, PizzaNet, launched in 1994 and accepted the first-ever online order – a large pepperoni, mushroom and extra-cheese pie. "We want to celebrate the fact that, before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the Internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza," said Carrie Walsh, the company's chief marketing officer. Pizza Hut's online sales grew slowly but steadily in the ensuing years, and more recently the advent of mobile ordering – placing orders via smartphones and tablets – has grown by 4,000% in the past three years.
Kick off the new year with higher profits by following a few simple rules: 1) diversifying your offerings; 2) interacting with your customers on social media; 3) giving away more product; 4) treating your employees as partners in your business; and 5) focusing on food quality.
A new Subway store will open soon in Lincoln, Nebraska, but it won't be serving sandwiches – it's the first Subway Pizza Express, and it's aimed squarely at the pizza-craving college crowd. Subway is the latest major chain to move into the pizza business, following closely on the heels of Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened Pizzeria Locale in Denver last year. Subway Pizza Express, to be located in the food court at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will specialize in personal-sized pizzas (already available in some Subway sandwich shops), baked in 90 seconds in high-speed toaster ovens.
An easy-to-make appetizer from the Alsace region of eastern France has been a hit in Europe and is now making its way to America. It's a pizza called tarte flambée ("fired pie"), consisting of a super-thin dough topped with crème fraîche, bacon and thinly sliced onions and scorched in a wood-fired oven. It's a great example of an on-trend appetizer with a somewhat exotic name that can easily be incorporated into any pizzeria menu.
Made famous in a classic 1938 Spencer Tracy film, Boys Town – a.k.a. Father Flanagan's Boys Home – in Nebraska is one of the country's most beloved nonprofit institutions, and Omaha-based Godfather's Pizza does its part to make sure every Boys Town kid's story has a happy ending. Godfather's became Boys Town's first national corporate sponsor in 2004, aiming to raise awareness of the organization's work with at-risk children and their families. Godfather's promotes the Boys Town National Hotline, a 24-hour-a-day crisis and referral hotline, on more than 20 million pizza boxes every year. The company also offers an internship and jobs program for Boys Town children and incorporates the organization's messaging into its national advertising. Independent pizzerias can form similar partnerships with local or regional organizations that support or provide care for at-risk children, generating a fortune in community goodwill while promoting a wonderful cause that every customer will appreciate.