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Pizza Hut exec: Mobile to account for 50 percent of future orders

The full story is below:

Buoyed by the success of its mobile iPhone application, Pizza Hut is about to get more ambitious with iPad and Android apps.

Brian Niccol, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut, Dallas showcased new menu items that consumers can buy via their mobile device. In addition, the “Your Favorites. Your Pizza Hut” lunch unveiled the company’s new brand campaign.

“We want our pizza to become a favorite memory,” Mr. Niccol said. “When I came onboard five years ago, Pizza Hut didn’t even have a Web site where people could order pizza.

“[In the future, I see mobile] accounting for almost 50 percent of our orders,” he said.

Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise that operates more than 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries. It offers different styles of pizza along with side dishes such as pasta, buffalo wings, breadsticks and garlic bread.

According to Mr. Niccol, mobile and social media plays a big part in the company’s multichannel strategy.

Although Mr. Niccol would not divulge what functionalities the iPad and Android application will feature, he did share that more consumers are purchasing pizza via their mobile device than online.

Text for pizza
Pizza Hut is no stranger to mobile.

In 2009, the company was one of the first pizza chains to offer both SMS and mobile Web ordering options.

The “Total Mobile Access” service let users text an order to the short code 749488.

Then, users receive a confirming text from Pizza Hut.

Additionally, users with any Web-enabled device can order directly from the company’s mobile site (see story).

Pizza app
A few days after the debut of its SMS and Web initiatives, Pizza Hut rolled out an iPhone application that lets users order menu items via their handset.

Consumers can also play a fun game via the application that lets them build their own pizza by pinching to select the size and drag-and-drop toppings onto the pizza (see story).

Additionally, in 2009, the Pizza Hut application surpassed $1 million in sales after being live in the App Store for three months (see story).

Social toppings
Pizza Hut has also dabbed into the social world with a new promotion that offers users a chance to win a free single order of breadsticks by using location-based service Foursquare.

Hungry consumers who check into participating locations and become mayor of that Pizza Hut can receive their free reward with the purchase of a large pizza (see story).

Final Take
Rimma Kats, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York