Pizza Hut introduced two new fast-casual concept stores featuring an all-new "pizza-by-the-slice" experience, digital menu boards, deck ovens and an open seating environment.
The test stores, one in York, Neb., and one in Pawtucket, R.I., match consumers' desire for more on-the-go options, according to the company. In addition to traditional favorites like cheese or pepperoni, the by-the-slice products, which are cut from 18-inch pies, include new chef-inspired recipes.
"The dine-in experience is a very important part of our business, and these incredibly fresh, beautiful new locations further advance our desire to provide the best experience possible for our customers," says Carrie Walsh, Pizza Hut's chief marketing officer. "Plus, specifically in the Northeast where by-the-slice is more prevalent, this concept enables us to enter a competitive environment like that with a very competitive product that we think consumers will love."
Both concepts offer a new pizza-by-the-slice "bar," but each has unique components driven by market behavior and dining style. The Nebraska location seats 80-plus, highlighting the eat-in experience.
The Rhode Island store has in-store seating for 30. It is positioned primarily for delivery and carryout, with the pizza-by-the-slice experience augmenting business during lunch hours and for
"We believe these concepts have broad appeal and we're bullish on our plans to quickly expand them to additional locations," said Al Litchenburg, chief development officer for Pizza Hut. "We are a company driven to innovate and give customers what they want and a vibrant store experience is atop that list."
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., operates more than 1,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. The company had 115 net openings in 2013.