Pizza Hut Is Adding Drive-Thru Lanes at Over 1,500 Locations
Pizza Hut is the latest chain to redesign restaurants to make contactless pick-up even more convenient for customers.
The pizza chain announced its plans on Tuesday to add "Hut Lanes" to over 1,500 of its locations nationwide. The new drive-thru lane is dedicated specifically to online orders made through the website or the Pizza Hut app.
Over the past year, a variety of restaurants have pivoted contactless delivery, pick-up, and drive-thru lanes due to COVID-19. Since these options arose, chains have found that these services will be mainstay alternatives for the restaurant industry.
"As we transition into the Pizza Hut system, we are excited about The Hut Lane and the seamless customer experience it offers," said Ron Bellamy, Chief Improvement Officer of Flynn Restaurant Group in a press release. "We know from our QSR experience how much value a pick-up window can unlock for the business, and we plan to prioritize The Hut Lane in future builds and relocations of existing stores."
Customers can select pick-up via the "Hut Lane" on the Pizza Hut app, pizzahut.com, or over the phone. Once the order is ready, patrons simply drive up to the window and will receive their food without ever leaving their car. Development for the lanes will begin this year.
Applebee's has also started to test drive-thru windows at some U.S. locations.
A franchise operator of the fast-casual restaurant in Texarkana, Texas has plans to install a drive-thru pickup window — a first for the chain. Applebee's will look to this location as a test for insights as to whether future stores should be built with a drive-thru takeout design.
"We look forward to assessing the performance of this installation, understanding feedback from our guests and operators, as well as any impact to business performance," Scott Gladstone, vice president of strategy and development at Applebee's Grill + Bar told Nation's Restaurant News. "If positive, we will determine whether pickup windows should be included in our building design packages."
According to Nation's Restaurant News, customers at the test location can order online or via mobile app and then pay online or at the pickup window. Patrons will be given an estimated pick up time once the order is placed.
The test window is expected to open in early 2021.