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Pizza Hut's tech focus to continue after renewing IT support

Restaurant chain Pizza Hut looks set to continue driving its business forward with technology at its core, after extending its IT support partnership this week.

The last four years have seen the company completely revamp its in-restaurant experience with new menus and an emphasis on digital touchpoints, and a new deal agreed with Retail Assist is expected to support further innovations up until 2020.

Pizza Hut has already rolled out new ordering and point-of-sale (POS) technology during its extensive refurbishment programme, and the company says it has seen the amount of IT-related downtime reduce dramatically in recent years.

As Essential Retail has reported, the chain introduced new screens in its kitchens to speed up communication between the PoS and chefs preparing the orders for takeaways and restaurant diners. Pizza Hut is increasingly relying on technology to run everyday business operations.

This greater focus on IT within its 260+ sites has required Retail Assist to manage all elements of tech support, with helpdesk teams that are available 24 hours a day, throughout the week.

Keith Frimley, IT director at Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, said: “Ultimately, we are running IT as a business.

“IT in restaurants should be like turning your lights on, a given that it will work, like electricity. We view our suppliers as an extension of our IT team, and are looking forward to extending our partnership with Retail Assist.”

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Pizza Hut unveiled yet further innovations in the pipeline for its global organisation.

Pizza Hut is one of the founding members of a new "mobility service business alliance", which is exploring ways autonomous vehicles can be used in food delivery. Toyota unveiled designs of a self-driving concept vehicle called e-Palette at CES, and Pizza Hut is a supporting partner.

“In our ongoing and relentless pursuit to own and define the modern pizza experience for our customers, we are focused on technology-based solutions that enable our team members and drivers to deliver even better customer experiences," explained Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut US, at the time.