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Pizza Hut U.S. buys an online ordering service

The company is acquiring QuikOrder in a bid to improve its online ordering capabilities.
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Pizza Hut’s U.S. business, eager to ramp up its technological prowess in a bid to keep up with rivals such as Domino’s Pizza, on Tuesday acquired the online ordering service QuikOrder.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Plano, Texas-based chain said the deal was one of its largest acquisitions to date.

Pizza Hut said the deal would help the brand’s U.S. business improve customers’ personalized online ordering service and accelerate digital innovation across its 6,000 domestic locations. As it is, half of the chain’s U.S. sales were processed through QuikOrder this year, Pizza Hut said.

QuikOrder was founded in 1997 and has worked with Pizza Hut U.S. for nearly 20 years.

The acquisition will include Pizza Hut’s digital ordering platforms, systems and services and QuikOrder’s in-restaurant technology and ancillary services, along with its future generation of products and programs.

“We’re doubling down on our commitment to digital and this deal positions Pizza Hut perfectly for the future,” Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut U.S., said in a statement. “We’re also gaining access to an immensely talented group of developers and digital innovators.”

The deal intensifies the technological war that has been ongoing between the country’s largest pizza players in recent years. Domino’s has generated strong sales growth and leapfrogged Pizza Hut to become the country’s largest pizza player, in part due to its technology—which Domino’s operates in-house.

Pizza Hut has been pushing its own digital capabilities in a bid to make its ordering processes easier, such as the introduction of a delivery tracker with text alerts, voice ordering and a loyalty program. The company said that it would be able to take “full advantage” of the platform QuikOrder developed for the chain while also getting improved flexibility and efficiency.

“The acquisition strengthens the brand’s digital road map and innovation and aligns with the strategy we put in place to drive Pizza Hut’s growth,” Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company, Yum Brands, said in a statement.

Pizza Hut’s acquisition of QuikOrder is expected to close this month.

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