global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

“One of the strengths of Pizza Hut is how we balance innovation with customer convenience”

“One of the strengths of Pizza Hut is how we balance innovation with customer convenience”

Regina Borda, managing director of Pizza Hut Europe and Canada, takes a trip down memory lane when explaining how this enduring franchise cornered the market, slice-by-slice.

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here

Interview by Kieran McLoone, deputy editor for Global Franchise

Back in the 1980s, then-head of marketing at Pizza Hut, David Novak, set his team one simple goal: release a brand-new innovation approximately once every six to eight weeks. This drive led to a handful of misfires, like a pizza cone and waffle crust, but also elevated the established franchise’s popular offering; the ‘Lovers’ line of pizzas including the likes of Meat Lovers and Supreme Lovers, for example, went on to become a staple of the brand.

Today, that evolution and the desire to bring customers something fresh and unheard of is still a defining pillar of Pizza Hut, but in a world of instant gratification, convenience has arguably taken over as the backbone to brand success.

“Product innovation is very much at the heart of our brand,” says Regina Borda, managing director of Pizza Hut Europe and Canada. “One of the strengths of Pizza Hut is how we balance innovation with customer convenience. We invest a lot of time and energy in training our team members, so the customer journey and experience are consistent and easy. No one wants to find their favorite pizza is constantly changing, but we are always exploring how our products can better serve our customers to provide more delicious options.”

If Pizza Hut’s shift in gears from inventing quirky products to doubling-down on delivery needs to be any clearer, in 2017, parent company Yum! invested $22m in research and development – hardly a paltry figure, but negligible when compared to the over $130m that the organization put into pizza delivery tech and related marketing.

If the enduring legacy of Pizza Hut is defined by anything, it is this: delivery is king.

A sign of the times

While an all-encompassing focus on customer convenience might seem like a natural step for any long-time brand to take, especially those in F&B, it’s only commonplace because frontrunners like Pizza Hut have made it so.

“We’ve been on a 60-year journey, from small beginnings in the 1950s Midwest to becoming a global brand. We’ve changed and learned as we’ve grown, but our central principle of providing delicious pizza to families and communities has never changed,” says Borda, who goes on to provide some guidance based on the brand’s philosophy: “Be easy to access and order from – this changes over time. Nowadays, our customers are looking for us online, so we need to have a great e-commerce platform, be present on food aggregators such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, and have a simple customer journey.”

Being where your audience needs you to be is only half the battle, of course. Brands need to be able to provide exactly what the customer wants, so that nine times out of 10, they’ll choose to return to their favorite pizza franchise, and not one of the countless other concepts on offer in this dense and competitive market.

“While the pizza toppings might change in different countries, the look and feel of our brand is global”

“We pride ourselves on working with our community and listening to its needs, adapting our offer accordingly and in turn remaining relevant for our customers,” says Borda. “It’s important to us that we are always walking alongside and tuned into our customers, especially through periods of change.”

The customer is always right

Naturally, this dynamic approach to menu innovation doesn’t suddenly mean that a restaurant like Pizza Hut should introduce hamburgers (although a burger-filled crust is yet another of the brand’s countless popular inventions), but meeting customers on their own turf is a surefire way to generate loyalty and engagement.

“While the pizza toppings might change in different countries, the look and feel of our brand is global. If you order a Pizza Hut in Canada you’ll find a poutine pizza available, while in India, our Paneer Soya Supreme is a popular option,” says Borda. “Our priority is to stay relevant and that means meeting the needs of our customers wherever they are in the world. In China, we offer a breakfast menu and an afternoon tea menu as these are important meals to gather with family and friends and share food together.”

Adopting local tastes when designing a restaurant’s menu isn’t just a good way to sell more pizzas; it gives the franchise offering a homely feel, even if one location taken in isolation is part of an 18,000-plus network of international units.

“By operating as a franchise business, we are a global brand – but a local business. That structure has become instrumental to Pizza Hut, as it has meant that as we continue to grow and share global learnings, our customers still recognize us as a local business at the center of the community.”

And what better way to feel part of the community than directly investing in and supporting the people that patronize your premises every day? Pizza Hut recognized this recently when the brand donated 250,000 pizzas in the U.K. to NHS staff combating COVID-19 on the frontlines. Sure, this generated some positive PR, but it’s easy to see when a brand is backed by genuine sincerity.

“Core to the success of Pizza Hut is our wonderful team members and franchisees, without which we wouldn’t have the day-to-day intelligence around what our customers want and we wouldn’t have the hard-working, smiling face of the brand our customers know so well,” says Borda. “Their hard work, love of pizza, and total determination to go the extra mile for our customers and the communities in which we operate underpins everything we do.”

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button


Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.


We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.


Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.


We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.


We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.


This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.


Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at


By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.


If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page


If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: