Pizza Hut enhances casual dining with digital aids

PETALING JAYA, 10 Oct 2017:

An important aspect of casual dining is the anticipation of the food, which allows for meaningful conversations and interactions while you wait for the dishes to arrive.

This has been a key focus of Pizza Hut restaurants, said Malaysian head Eric Leong today – but he acknowledges the faster-paced lifestyles have also to be catered to somewhat so that customers don’t get fidgety.

To this end, Pizza Hut has introduced what is described as a digital in-restaurant experience – using iPads to bring its menu items to life via augmented reality.

The firm has developed an iOS app – which uses the device camera to interact with the customer. When the camera is held over menu items, the iPad display screen adds some cute touches like steam over hot dishes and frosting over cold drinks and desserts.

These interactive displays aim to whet the customers’ appetites and also trigger conversations, explained Merrill Pereyra, chief executive officer of QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd – the franchise holder for Pizza Hut restaurants here.

The digital touches have also been extended for take-out customers – who can now check out an interactive menu for life-sized servings and make orders without having to wait for restaurant staff.

“This effort gives more control to the modern customer, who is already exposed to online shopping experiences and we wanted to bring that to a brick-and-mortar establishment,” said Pereyra.

“In developing Pizza Hut’s digital strategy, we went back to the essence of what the food industry is about. In our industry, customer experience is key and digital isn’t just a matter of applying technology for technology’s sake – it’s about making our customer experience better.

“For us, this means making it easier for our customers to get a better pizza – whether in store or at home or anywhere at all. This is why Pizza Hut embarked on a digital transformation journey, starting with our website revamp and now, our mobile app and very first digital concept store.

“We’re hoping to provide customers an entirely new digital experience from the moment they walk into the store, order and enjoy their dining experience. This is just the beginning. We’re looking to expand our digital concept to more stores, bringing an easier and better digital experience to all our customers.”

The new store at Sunway Pyramid is also Pizza Hut’s first in Asia Pacific to feature “Digital Take Away” Kiosks. The kiosks allow customers to make orders and pay more quickly, increasing efficiency and reducing wait times to place an order.

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