When Pizza Hut Restaurants in the UK began re-imaging its estate in 2014, it rightly predicted a surge in footfall.
But its management team also realised the new look would take the brand only so far, and was keen to ensure that customers tempted in by the restyled restaurants would go on to provide both repeat business and referrals.
Pizza Hut Restaurants engaged Suiko, the lean management arm of consultancy Turner & Townsend, to help the chain turn the initial sales boost into long-term growth.
Together they created a framework for operational excellence that used lean techniques to drive efficiency and deliver optimum value to every new customer.
At its heart was the idea that customer value can vary according to time and location, and that the person best placed to define, monitor and provide value is the individual restaurant manager.
A customer ordering a leisurely mid-morning coffee will not judge the experience in the same way as a family who pop in for a quick pre-film pizza, and the framework therefore allowed managers the latitude to adjust their offering throughout the day and to suit their local client base.
Crucially, it also encouraged waiting staff to tailor the service to give each customer the best possible experience.
By successfully empowering front-line managers to adapt to their local markets, the strategy contributed to behavioural change across the organisation and helped it to better understand – and provide maximum value to – its customers.
Pizza Hut Restaurants’ new look won it a wave of new customers, but it was its responsive approach to service and value that ensured they and their friends came back – and powered the brand to sustained growth.
By September 2016 that growth had led its UK operation to report a 150 percent increase in operating profit on the same time last year.