Pizza Hut chief executive Alastair Murdoch last week revealed the restaurant chain is to undergo a radical overhaul of its outlets. What can design do to improve the Pizza Hut experience without losing its core values?
Pizza Hut gives families a great value restaurant experience, which I think is invaluable, as eating out is one of life’s great pleasures and should be available to all. Unfortunately, for Pizza Hut the world has moved on. Vinyl seats and laminated menus no longer reflect contemporary living and a brighter, more relaxed environment should be created. In this climate of food and health scares, I would want Pizza Hut to be clearer about the quality and provenance of its food.
Simon Threadkell, Creative director, Fitch
Pizza Hut has always been fabulous at unashamedly making a meal out of pizza and inventing names like Stuffed Crust and The Edge, which imply much more than just a fast food meal. There’s plenty of ownable product, but no ownable dining experience to match. It’s always been about families, sharing and good times. Design needs to camp it up and have more fun. We’re thinking an Ice Cream Factory at every table and a ‘throw your own pizza shape’ menu choice where creations are posted on the Web for all and sundry to admire.
Sarah Page, Creative director, Household
Gosh, that’s going to be difficult! Thinking it through, it will need to be a rethink of the pizza-making process: more theatre, better oven experience, more in tune design of the ambience and better product, with freshness to the fore. They should have a look at the Dyaleford store in London’s Pimlico Road – it’s brill. Bright, modern, fab food, with a fresh interactive display, all in a progressive contemporary retail space.
Gabriel Murray, Director, Murray 03
Pizza Huts are really rather unique, but I wonder if they are expressing this with enough authority. Unlike other fast food chains they actually manufacture everything on site, from the dough up. Do people know this? I doubt it. This potential theatre is not exposed at all and the customer experience and product perception probably suffers as a result. Another unique attribute is that they are licensed. Crikey! How many other fast food restaurants have this unique selling point? New product development apart, there’s a potential opportunity begging.
Mark Landini, Creative director, Landini Associates