Harrison’s designs drive Pizza Hut growth

How Harrison’s brand refresh smashed sales targets for one of the UK’s leading casual dining chains

The Challenge

Back in November 2012, one of the UK’s best-known casual dining brands had reached a pivotal point in its forty year career in the UK. With its dine-in business newly acquired by dynamic private equity backers Rutland Partners, the opportunity was laid bare to leapfrog the competition and drive for growth.

With a £60m reinvestment programme on the table, Rutland Partners set out their objectives. They wanted a tired brand refreshed; they wanted dynamism and momentum; they wanted increased market share and profits; essentially, they wanted very happy customers who would come back again, again and again.

For answers, they turned to a company with vast experience in rejuvenating high profile hospitality brands – Harrison. Our task was to mastermind a redesign and repositioning programme which would catapult Pizza Hut right to the front of its dynamic and fast-evolving competitor set.

The Solution

The starting point lay with a full brand positioning review to identify key development opportunities. We examined all aspects of brand evolution, design, product, service personality and communication and put forward our recommendations.

One of the key aspects to emerge from this process was a very clear design direction: Pizza Hut needed to give greater focus to the spirit of its American origins and to develop a stronger personality, thereby distinguishing itself from its competitors.

Harrison’s schemes complemented this strategy with the introduction of heightened colour and energy, delivering a more authentic American feel. Particular emphasis was given to the salad bar, ice cream station, soda dispenser, pizza buffet and the drama and excitement of an open kitchen. The designs were cleverly conceived to develop a more social atmosphere in the restaurants, particularly in the evenings, and to enhance the eating and drinking occasions for all customers.

The Success

With over half of its 280 UK restaurants refurbished to date, Pizza Hut is achieving outstanding site sales growth of between 10% and 40%, depending on the level of investment. Plans are already underway to refurbish the remainder of the portfolio over the coming months.

“Already our refurbished estate has played an instrumental role in our business success. We’ve seen a mix of new customers and increased spend per head at our restaurants, with each refurbished Hut experiencing significant sales uplift.”
— Jens Hofma - CEO of Pizza Hut Restaurants