Pizza Hut has taken large strides in recent months to reassert itself as a pizza delivery leader. While ahead of the curve compared to most restaurants, as demonstrated by its move to the Gifted category in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants US, the brand is struggling to move away from its sit-down perception.

Domino’s, which earned the highest ranking in the study, has made headlines for programs and campaigns like Paving for Pizza, Delivery Hotspots, and Dinner Bell. In contrast, Pizza Hut has pursued less buzzy initiatives to improve its standing in the delivery and pickup space. In the past year, the brand has built 600 smaller format restaurants designed for delivery and takeout, and the brand recently acquired the online ordering service, QuickOrder, which it has been working with for approximately the past 20 years. By focusing on stores and bringing its ordering technology in-house, Pizza Hut is demonstrating its desire to continue competing with Domino’s and fast-growing courier services in the competitive delivery space.

Restaurant adoption

Given that only 26% of brands in Gartner L2’s study offer delivery, Pizza Hut is already a leader, but it still has steps it can take to improve its standing compared to brands like Domino’s. Like Domino’s, Pizza Hut succeeds in keeping its product pages and e-commerce on one site, creating a seamless experience employed by only 47% of Index brands. Pizza Hut also uses geolocation to find the nearest locations for pickup and delivery and offers a leading loyalty program, Hut Rewards. But Pizza Hut falls behind in paid search compared to Domino’s, placing fewer text ads against important keywords like “pizza delivery”. Pizza Hut also lacks one-page checkout and does limited cross-selling on the cart page, limiting its meal building. By focusing on its delivery and pick-up business, Pizza Hut can improve its position in digital and work to leapfrog Domino’s on the next wave of innovation. 

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