Pizza Hut tries beer delivery

Pizza Hut started delivering beer yesterday in Phoenix, the first step in what is intended to be a nationwide rollout of the service, the  Yum Brands chain confirmed this morning.

The Phoenix test will be expanded to include wine delivery next month, according to Stacy Lynn Bourgeois, director of brand marketing for Pizza Hut. The chain has not yet decided whether full bottles or small-sized containers will be offered.

Phoenix residents can order the six-packs with their pizza, or just opt for the brew. Each six-pack is priced at $10.99. Four varieties are offered: Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock Top and Kilt Tilter, a local brand. 

The alcoholic beverages will be delivered in a custom cooler "so our customers can enjoy them right away alongside their oven-hot pizza," a spokeswoman said in an email.

At least one local brand will be featured as the chain adds delivery at the 1,726 Pizza Huts in the United States that already hold a license to sell beer and wine, a spokesperson indicated. "We have plans to expand quickly," the spokeswoman said.

"We’re uniquely positioned to deliver these given many of our restaurants already serve beer and wine,” Bourgeois said in a statement.  

Delivery drivers transporting the alcoholic beverages will ask to see the customer's proof of age before handing over the beer or wine, Pizza Hut said.

Information provided by the chain suggests it is trying to pre-empt situations where customers order a pie from Pizza Hut and then have beer delivered separately by a third-party service. "We have the capability to be a one-stop-shop for customers looking to enjoy beer and wine with their pizza," Pizza Hut said in a statement provided to Restaurant Business. "No third-party services, no additional fees, and no extended wait times."

Delivery of alcoholic beverages is being tried by a number of chains as a way of boosting off-premise sales. The experimenters include BJ’s Restaurants, TGI Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Mama Fu’s and Flying Pie.

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