Beacon Topping: Pizza Hut Gets High Tech in China

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Pizza Hut China

When Pizza Hut moved into China, it caused a brief bit of excitement and boost to company revenues. That kind of interest has eased off, The Wall Street Journal reports, prompting the Yum! Brands eatery to seek fresh ways and new partners to invigorate the 1.3 billion hungry consumers of the Asian country.

Pizza Hut’s current efforts are focused on leveraging the boom in mobile technology to make “smart restaurants,” according to a press release. Earlier this month, the brand began using iBeacon technology at its more than 1,400 locations in China to send out coupons, WeChat movie tickets prizes, and other special offers and discounts to mobile devices.

Pizza Hut China

Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands has chosen to work with iBeacon, Apple’s standard protocol for using beacon device hardware to provide localized information to apps, and Sensoro, which distributes beacon devices in 46 countries. The combination will help Pizza Hut collect and analyze customer data, communicate targeted information to customers and, the brand hopes, improve sales conversion rates.

“The comprehensive use of iBeacon technology to create smart restaurants is intended to improve the customer experience and improve customer service, while also upgrading brand image to attract more customers,” according to the press release.

Benzinga recently pitted Pizza Hut against Domino’s to determine which one it would invest in—and the pair, anticlimactically, tied. Pizza Hut ruled on the international side of things, though, and the site called the company a “China-based story.” It remains to be seen if the Chinese people (and the rest of the world) will lay down their cash for such things as Salmon Cream Stuffed Crust with Shrimp Topping or Suckling Pig Pizza.

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