The PHD of growth

01 Sep,2011

Pizza Hut Delivery (PHD), not just an adjunct of the main pizza brand but one which is positioned as a sub-brand of Pizza Hut, has been slowly but steadily increasing its footprint across India. PHD is actually a global concept which was launched in India in 2007 though it has kept away from limelight until now, as the company had decided at first to focus on providing consumers with a world-class dining experience in-store. The focus on dine-in was also because the delivery market had not really evolved at that point. But now there has been a change with people being more amenable to the home delivery option, hence the need to step up the PHD offering.


The Indian food and beverage industry has been showing a healthy growth in the last few years and if one were to look at the organized pizza market, it would now stand at approximately Rs 450 crore and is growing at almost 25 percent year on year; the average bill size has also increased in the last few years and one can easily put a conservative figure of a 15 percent rise in that amount. With the trend showing a rise in home delivery, it is natural that Pizza Hut would tweak its offering to reach those potential consumers. In fact, its competition Domino’s has built its whole communication around the fact that it delivers in 30 minutes or the customer gets the pizza free.


Ashok Bajpai, General Manager, PHD, explains the strategy behind bringing PHD into prominence. He said, Over the years, the delivery segment has gained importance in India and PHD has the ability to provide great tasting pizzas, pastas, garlic bread, desserts and drinks right to your door. We are committed to bringing restaurant-quality food to the homes of our customers. Also consumers today are increasingly looking towards delivery as an option to enjoy restaurant-quality food in the comfort of their home.


Mr Bajpai added that the time has come for PHD to expand faster. Pizza Hut Delivery ensures that it fulfils its promise of delivering great tasting food, hot, to its consumer’s doorstep every single time, he added.


PHD’s premise of hot pizzas delivered to the doorstep takes the form of the hot dot, which is a heat-sensitive sticker on the pizza box. If the dot is hot, so is the pizza inside. This replicates the restaurant offering of a hot pizza on the spot, and combats the concept that home-delivered pizza is not hot enough, which is sometimes a deterrent.


Currently, PHD stores stand at 37 and the focus is to bring the number to 300, countrywide, by the end of 2015. Mr Bajpai is of the opinion that delivery is still nascent and more of a metro phenomenon. He said, India is growing at an unprecedented pace and in the future, a lot of action will be seen in tier 2 cities and other smaller towns. PHD is now one of Yum’s fastest growing brands.


Aren’t Pizza Hut and PHD in conflict with one another? At Yum!, rather than conflict, PHD is seen as growth driver. While Pizza Hut is gaining prominence in Affordable Casual Dining (ACDR) space, PHD is developing the growing delivery business in the country, concluded Mr Bajpai.


The challenge for Pizza Hut will also be from many QSR that has emerged in a short span and specializes in Indian food like Goli Vada Pav and Kaati Zone. There are also many local pizza brands like Pizza Corner, Slice of Italy or the homegrown US Pizza, and all of these either are QSR or focus on home delivery. Hence, if Pizza Hut is stepping up its focus on PHD to grow, it is in sync with the demands of today and with future growth strategy.

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