Pizza Hut’s brand manager, Mark Diezmann, spoke to QSR Media to detail the new fast casual dining concept that has launched today (27th November) in Australia.
The new concept will see the return of the dine-in option at Pizza Hut, Dessert Hut with free flowing real ice cream, and Pizza Hut’s mascot “Pizza Pete”. The new Waterloo store functions as a Centre of Restaurant Excellence to test concepts for roll out across Australia and it features an open kitchen, indoor, outdoor and bar dining spaces and a digital juke box. The store will have food created specially to please the residents in the area. In other locations, Pizza Hut will tailor certain menu items in the same way.
Pizza Hut Australia innovation director Matthew Sawyer says the new business model has a ‘glocal’ philosophy: globally relevant with adaptations to suit the local community.
Pizza Hut has a strong heritage in Australia as a pioneer and leader in the pizza industry. In recent times, we have grown the brand to over 300 stores nationally and we are on a journey to engage a new generation of pizza lovers. We know that to continue to succeed we must remain focused on delivering delicious pizza but also ensure it is more convenient, faster, and more accessible than ever.
QSR Media: Tell us about your new concept in fast casual dining.
The new concept combines the things Australians have always loved about Pizza Hut with the best of modern casual dining culture. The restaurant’s interior has touches of Pizza Hut’s American heritage combined with a fresh Australian contemporary feel. Guests will experience a beautiful open kitchen, a licenced bar area, indoor and outdoor dining spaces and a unique menu of products tailored for the dine-in experience.
QSR Media: Who is your typical customer?
At Pizza Hut, our mission is to bring pizza to the masses and we have a broad customer base who love our products. For this first concept store located in Waterloo, Sydney – it is an inner-city younger professional demographic. These customers are time-poor but want somewhere that delivers great food, ambience, and exceptional customer service. We are catering for their needs with unique features like our Express Lunch option of a medium pizza and a drink ready in under 10 minutes and starting from only $8.
QSR Media: What will surprise people about this concept?
Everything – from the open kitchen, to the unique design elements, and the range of delicious menu items. While there are plenty of new features, the biggest crowd-pleasers might be the throwbacks to the classic Pizza Hut of old, albeit with a modern twist. These include a Dessert Hut with free flowing real ice cream, the return of Pizza Hut’s mascot “Pizza Pete”, unlimited pizza by the slice at certain sittings, and the fact that we will also offer take away and delivery options (via electric bikes).
QSR Media: What’s your expectation of the concept?
It is critical that we continue to evolve the Pizza Hut offering to ensure it appeals to the needs of modern customers. The concept will show the way forward for Pizza Hut to compete in the fast casual dining space and continue to make it easier for everyone to enjoy a pizza moment. The Waterloo location will also function as a Centre of Restaurant Excellence, an innovation lab to test and prove concepts to then roll out in stores around Australia.
QSR Media: What surprised you when developing/rolling out this concept?
What surprised us most was how eager customers were to see the return of a new dine option at Pizza Hut. We are confident that this new model will exceed people’s expectations through celebrating the best of Pizza Hut’s strong heritage and delivering a vibrant contemporary fast casual dining experience.