Yum CEO says Pizza Hut needs to be more like Uber

NEW YORK -- Yum CEO Greg Creed thinks he figured out why sales at Pizza Hut have gone cold: The chain needs to be more like the car-hailing service Uber.

See Full Article

"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 from Dallas late Thursday after Yum Brands' investor day.

During a presentation, Creed said there was a time when the way to beat the competition was to have a better product. He now believes that convenience trumps quality.

Creed said the insight that "easy" beats "better" will help Yum energize its three fast-food chains, which also include KFC and Taco Bell. That means everything from shaving time off drive-through waits to pushing into areas like catering, delivery and mobile ordering.

With Pizza Hut in particular, Creed says the chain hasn't paid as much attention to making life easier for customers. Even people who prefer the chain's pizzas are only willing to wait about two minutes more for it, he said. Yet Pizza Hut takes more than two minutes longer to deliver than its competitors.

It's one of the reasons Yum thinks Pizza Hut has flagged in the U.S. as rivals have prospered. In recent years, Domino's has credited the convenience of its online ordering and mobile app for fueling its steady growth. Last year, its sales rose 7.5 per cent at established U.S. locations, following growth of 5.4 per cent the previous year.

In the meantime, Pizza Hut's sales fell 3 per cent at established locations last year, following a 2 per cent drop in 2013.

To get the chain back on track, Creed said he made Pizza Hut's management team get in a room about a month ago to come up with a "clear brand identity." They were told not to come out until they did.

"One of the joys of being the boss, you can lock other people away," said Creed, who stepped into the CEO role this year.

Nine hours later, Creed said he got a text from Pizza Hut's chief brand officer Jeff Fox asking for permission to leave the room -- they thought they had an answer. That's when they came up with the insight that "easy" beats "better."

In addition to Uber, executives cited online retailer Amazon as an example of how being easy for customers wins business. Creed noted that the insight doesn't mean the company is giving up on being better as well.

It's not yet clear exactly how Pizza Hut plans to act on its new mantra. As part of its menu revamp late last year, the chain also redesigned its website. Creed assured investors Thursday the company had a plan in store, but that he couldn't share details yet for competitive reasons.


Latest Economic News

  • Bombardier cutting 7,500 jobs over next two years

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Bombardier says it is cutting another 7,500 jobs around the world over the next two years, including about 2,000 across Canada. The Montreal-based plane and train maker says the reductions designed to save about US$300 million a year are part of its plan to restore its profitability by 2020. Source
  • Canadians becoming less dependent on banks: EY report

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A new survey from EY suggests Canadians are becoming less dependent upon their banks as the main providers of financial services. The business consultancy firm says a quarter of those polled agreed with the statement, "I'm less reliant on established (financial services) companies and banks these days, as there are more options to self-manage my finances. Source
  • Deadline looming for Canada-EU trade pact

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - They're listening carefully to the noisy argument spilling out of their neighbour's house - but for the moment they're giving the appearance of keeping their noses out of it. That essentially is the Canadian government's position with the deadline looming for European Union countries to approve their wide-ranging free trade deal with Canada. Source
  • BAT offers to buy Reynolds in $47B deal

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON - British American Tobacco has offered to buy Reynolds American Inc. in a $47 billion cash-and-stock deal. The London-based company offered Friday to buy the 57.8 per cent of Reynolds it doesn't already own for the equivalent of $56.50 per share. Source
  • Asian shares mixed on European Central Bank stimulus hopes

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG - Asia stock markets drifted Friday as oil prices slid. The dollar rallied after Europe's central bank kept the door open for more monetary stimulus, leaving investor sentiment mixed. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 per cent to 17,285.53 but South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 per cent to 2,032.85. Source
  • Lululemon warns it might move HQ out of Vancouver

    Economic CBC News
    Lululemon is warning that it may forced to move its headquarters out of Canada because the federal government's temporary foreign worker program is limiting its ability to stretch its wings. The Vancouver-based apparel company best known for its yoga pants currently has 1,200 employees working in its head office in Vancouver and says it needs to hire specialized workers to further expand. Source
  • Plans to boost household income by $15,000 by 2030 unveiled

    Economic CBC News
    The Trudeau government's influential team of economic advisers unveiled a batch of growth-lifting recommendations Thursday that focused on immigration, infrastructure and investment strategies. The objective, the experts say, is to double Canada's projected growth trajectory and add an eye-popping $15,000 to the annual incomes of Canadian households by 2030. Source
  • Feds' advisers share recipe for growth: investment, immigration, infrastructure

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Trudeau government's hand-picked team of economic advisers is recommending Ottawa deliver over $200 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade using as few taxpayer dollars as possible. The suggestion was unveiled Thursday as part of the growth council's first tranche of recommendations on how Ottawa should resuscitate the lacklustre economy. Source
  • Canada-Europe trade deal brinkmanship hinges on Walloons, but also visas

    Economic CBC News
    European Union trade policy seems to be teetering, thanks to a high-risk standoff with Belgium's Wallonian regional government, set to climax Friday morning as leaders gather for European Council strategy talks. But a second issue blocks unanimous support for Canada's trade deal, and this one's comparatively easy for Justin Trudeau to fix. Source
  • Bank places 100 'lucky pennies' across U.S. worth $1,000 each

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Stopping to pick up a stray penny off the ground may not seem worth the effort, yet one bank is trying to change that mindset by placing 100 fake pennies across the country worth $1,000 apiece. Source