Revitalizing & Extending America's Leading Pizza Brand
Pizza Hut has dominated its category for decades, but growth was challenging: given its narrow product focus, the bulk of the brand’s business was limited to evening dining. A major development opportunity was to expand its menu to encompass relevant lunch offerings to attract customers for a second meal event.
To leverage the brand’s strengths and capitalize on opportunities, research found that pizza is a food that uniquely brings friends and family together to share. To draw repeat visits and new diners to the restaurant, creating an experience that was warm and welcoming was critical. While Pizza Huts were well-known for their iconic “red roof,” most of the facility interiors were outdated, dirty, dark, and dingy–far from welcoming.
A comprehensive brand revitalization program was developed to support the launch of a new line of lunch offerings that included sub sandwiches, soups, and salads. The brand identity was refreshed and refined to leverage the well known red roof, ensure “pizza” was still the focus, but placed greater emphasis on “Hut” — a term defined as a place that “serves as a cozy shelter.” The slight de-emphasis of “pizza” in the brand identity also helped support the brand’s new broader product offering.
To reinforce the brand in the design of the restaurant experience, the notion of a “welcoming gathering place” was achieved through a clock tower capped with the “red roof” as the focal point entry. Clock towers are the central gathering spots in European town squares. Beyond the entry, indoor and outdoor seating areas were designed to stimulate interaction among the guests. To cater to the time-constrained, on-the-go work crowd, restaurants were designed to address the operational and customer needs for “to-go” orders. New smaller restaurants were also launched to increase convenience and access to urban customers.