Yum CEO Would Rather Pizza Hut Be More Convenient Than Have A Better Product

Pizza Hut has been fighting for a slice of the marketplace pie with a weapon that’s turning out to be rather ineffective namely, a complete menu revamp that added a bunch of new crusts, drizzles, toppings and doodads to their regular slate of pizzas. That whole idea of trying to compete with a better product is not the way to go, Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed says. Instead, Pizza Hut should focus on being more convenient than its rivals.

We sampled 21 of those new menu additions ahead of their release earlier this year, and we weren’t exactly blown away. We weren’t the only ones underwhelmed by the changes: back in April, the country’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee said that the “new ‘Flavors of Now’ positioning did not deliver the sales momentum that we had anticipated.”

During a presentation for the Yum’s investor day, Creed noted that the days of trying to beat out competition with a better product are gone, and that convenience trumps quality. Going forward, Yum brands, especially Pizza Hut, should now focus on being more like Uber (welcome to 2015, Greg), instead of trying to create a superior product. He’s all about “easy” beats “better.”

“If you think about the Uber experience, it’s easy to use, it’s easy to pay, it’s very easy to track,” Creed said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.

Putting convenience first could mean cutting down wait times at the drive-thru, or adding catering, delivery and mobile ordering services. Pizza Hut can benefit a lot from making life easier for customers, Creed says, instead of giving them a better product, because people who prefer the chain’s pizza will only wait about two minutes more for it. However, Pizza Hut takes more than two minutes longer to deliver than its competitors.

Pizza Hut’s sales fell 3% at established locations last year, which stands in stark comparison to rival Domino’s which, saw in increase of 7.5% in sales last year. Domino’s attributes that achievement to the convenience of its online ordering and mobile app.

Creed says he put Pizza Hut’s management team get in a room about a month ago to come up with a “clear brand identity,” and told them not to come out again until they did.

“One of the joys of being the boss, you can lock other people away,” said Creed. Nine hours later, he says Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer Jeff Fox asked for permission to leave the room, after coming up with “easy” beats “better.”

The plan seems to have begun already, because nothing says “easy” like a dresser full of pizzas, or putting the hot dogs right in the crust so you don’t need to heat the oven separately for pigs-in-a-blanket.

Yum CEO says Pizza Hut needs to be more like Uber [Associated Press]

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