Pizza Hut Leans Into Beer Delivery

How retailers can compete with restaurants as service expands
Photograph courtesy of Pizza Hut

PLANO, Texas -- Pizza Hut is differentiating itself in the pizza delivery space by offering beer delivery with its pies in more markets.

The Plano, Texas-based company has expanded its beer delivery test to five more states: Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio. Pizza Hut is also adding the service to more locations in California and Arizona, where beer delivery tests began in 2017.

That gives Pizza Hut 300 locations where it delivers beer, and the chain plans to expand the service to 1,000 restaurants by this summer. The chain operates 7,500 locations in the United States.

The expansion comes ahead of the upcoming Super Bowl, one of the chain’s busiest days of the year—the company said that 86% of Americans plan to serve both pizza and beer for their Super Bowl party. This will be the first time that Pizza Hut is the official pizza chain of the NFL for the game.

Franchisees have jumped on board to add the service. Pizza Hut promised more markets to be “forthcoming.”

“It only makes sense for us to bring more customers the beloved combo of pizza and beer ahead of the Super Bowl,” said Marianne Radley, chief brand officer for Pizza Hut.

Restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Atlanta and BJ’s Restaurants also have launched alcohol delivery initiatives.

Wading Into Alcohol Delivery

Meanwhile, as the aftershocks of the off-premise boom continue, convenience stores are reaching a pivotal time to own alcohol delivery. According to John Nelson, president of Chicago-based online delivery concept Vroom Delivery, bundling alcohol with foodservice and merchandise delivery sales is a way convenience stores can remain competitive in the war for convenience. “Alcohol can be used to drive those higher-margin food products,” he told CSP in 2018.

Over the past few years, c-store operators and others have been wading into alcohol delivery. In 2017, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven began delivering beer to customers’ doors with its 7-Eleven Now app; Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon expanded its two-hour delivery of beer, wine and spirits to cities in Florida, California and Texas in March 2018; and San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B started leveraging its partnership with delivery company Favor to deliver beer and wine in July 2018.

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