- Pizza Hut is testing a new service with Brightloom, formerly eatsa, that enables customers to pick up their order in a cubby in Hollywood, California, with plans to expand the test to other West Coast cities in 2020, according to Nation's Restaurant News.
- The feature is aimed at attracting guests who don't have time to wait in line to pick up their orders or customers who simply aren't in the mood for small talk, Pizza Hut U.S. Chief Customer and Operations Officer Nicolas Burquier told Nation's Restaurant News.
- Burquier told Restaurant Dive that Brightloom's 12-compartment digital cubbies sync with the brand's app, website and in-store offerings, as well as phone orders.
From hotspots to delivery bots, the tech competition between Domino's and Pizza Hut is heating up — and likely leaving many pizza fans feeling the whiplash — as each brand continually announces new digital and in-store offerings. Pizza Hut's latest addition aims to streamline the pick-up process to create a better in-store experience.
The system created by Brightloom looks to remove the confusion created by a plethora of channels to order meals. When customers pick up their food, they can head to the cubby that has their name displayed, tap twice and gain access to their order, Burquier told Restaurant Dive. Each cubby will have special linings to keep food hot and drinks cold, he said.
The offering is meant to supplement the in-store experience, and won't eliminate it, Burquier said. Stores will still be fully staffed and offer delivery service capabilities.
In addition to the cubby system, Pizza Hut is testing delivery bots with FedEx and rolled out a delivery robot truck last year. It also acquired QuickOrder, an online QSR platform that offers digital ordering, systems and services, in December.
Rival Domino's, which calls itself a tech company that also delivers pizza, is investing in AI quality control technology in Australia that uses machine learning to test pizza quality and achieved a 15% quality score increase within the first month of use. The brand also added in-car ordering technology to its lineup and is piloting a driverless pizza delivery vehicle in Houston. And the two pizza chains aren't alone in their tech focus. Both Domino's and Papa John's are adding GPS driver tracking while Pieology is looking into drones to make deliveries in Connecticut.