Yum! Brands confirmed today that it was actively exploring new Pizza Hut store locations as part of its national growth strategy following finalising an agreement today which allows Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited to exit the Victorian market.
The agreement between Yum! Brands and Restaurant Brands, a corporate franchisee of Pizza Hut stores, paves the way for it to sell its 50 Victorian Pizza Hut stores and allowing it to focus on the KFC and Pizza Hut brands in New Zealand.
Yum! Brands’ General Manager of Operations for Pizza Hut, Kurt Whitlow, emphasised that the agreement reached with Restaurant Brands does not change Yum!’s strong commitment to the Victorian and Australian market.
“Yum! is committed to growing the Pizza Hut brand including relocating existing stores and building more than 50 new Pizza Hut stores throughout Australia over the next three years.
“This strategy will include significant investment in Pizza Hut Victoria, which will result in an increase in store numbers and design to better meet our customers’ needs,” Mr Whitlow said.
“Furthermore, the execution of our growth strategy presents greater opportunities for locally-owned, single-unit Pizza Hut franchisees to be opened, with the nimbleness and flexibility necessary for such a fast-moving and highly competitive market.
“Pizza Hut in Australia remains committed to its strategy of actively growing the brand through partnership with our franchisees. Pizza Hut has more than 35 years of track record in Australia as a successful, growth company and will continue to lead the pizza category in product and service innovation.”
Mr Whitlow said that in the third quarter of 2006, following a very successful promotional period, Pizza Hut achieved market leadership based on share of customer visits over the previous three months.
“Pizza Hut also recently launched its on-line ordering channel nationally, www.pizzahutdirect.com.au, which has seen continued strong growth in this channel. The speed of success of the Pizza Hut on-line ordering platform has been enabled by leveraging market leading call centre technology.”
Yum! Brands is the largest food franchise in the world with in excess of 30,000 restaurants worldwide. Pizza Hut is the largest pizza chain in the world with in excess of 10,000 restaurants worldwide.