- Brookshire Grocery is adding Pizza Hut kiosks to two of its store locations in Texas, according to Winsight Grocery Business.
- The first two locations are a pilot to determine whether expansion into other stores in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana is feasible
- The kiosks will offer hot and ready items including personal pizzas, hot wings, Hershey’s chocolate chip cookies, and parmesan pretzel bites.
Pizza Hut has been rethinking its strategy recently, marked by its recent announcement that it may shutter as many as 500 underperforming stores during the next two years for remodels and reopenings. The brand is placing more emphasis on its delivery capabilities and hopes the remodels will support a carryout and delivery model better than existing store footprints. Major competitor Domino's has been equally focused on retooling its approach to reaching consumers, putting pressure on Pizza Hut to stake out new territory before Domino’s does.
Adding Pizza Hut kiosks to grocery stores is another way to expand its reach beyond the traditional brick and mortar service. Pizza Hut has also engaged in a partnership with parent company Yum Brands' $200 million investment in Grubhub to reach the third-party app channel. So far, Grubhub has helped the brand attract new first-time customers, executives told investors during a summer earnings call.
The Brookshire kiosks may have a similar effect as they expose the brand to the grocers' stream of foot traffic that may not have had Pizza Hut in mind when they do their shopping.
"We are excited to be the first retail grocer to offer our customers the convenience of fresh, hot Pizza Hut menu items," Brad Brookshire, chairman and CEO of Brookshire Grocery, told Winsight. "Our company is very proud to partner with Pizza Hut and expand our services in support of our mission to create and deliver exceptional experiences and value to our customers."
In a similar effort, Pizza Hut is also testing self-service pickup cubbies in partnership with Brightloom at a Hollywood, California, location with plans to test in other West Coast cities in 2020. The offering is meant to target consumers who are short on time or who simply aren't in the mood to engage with store employees. The tech-centric offering may also appeal to consumers' growing appreciation for cutting-edge technology offerings.
Meanwhile, Kroger partnered with Rapid Fired Pizza this year with plans to open 10 units inside Kroger delis in Ohio.The chain offers build-your-own pizzas, pastas and calzones. It also added take-and-bake pizza options for its Kroger outposts. The pizza chain, which as 27 locations across six states, creates pizzas 180 seconds and offers 35 toppings and 12 sauces.
And in lieu of partnering with an existing pizza chain, grocery retailer Winco is dishing up in-house pizzas made with a secret sauce, fresh veggies, and scratch-made crust. It offers pizza-by-the-slice from a hot case, which is one of its best-selling items. Although not every Winco location has a full-service pizza department, other locations offer pizza hot cases in the deli departments that feature fresh pizza during certain times of the day.