It was vital to position delivery services as a viable solution to relieving pressure on supermarkets as food demand during the COVID-19 crisis outweighed supply, to assure the nation it would be fed.
FMCG & Retail
Hanover’s Food & Drink team advises businesses at every stage of their life cycle. We work with everyone from start-ups beginning their journey and raising awareness of their offering, to multinational enterprises looking to join up their communications across different territories.
Pizza Hut needed to reposition themselves, from being seen a large global corporation to highlighting the specific benefit to local British communities – and in doing so protecting its right to operate.
To achieve this, Pizza Hut needed its internal management and external delivery teams firmly on its side, with many voicing concerns about business practice during COVID-19.
The first step was to ensure business operations were steady, and safe. Through extensive horizon scanning and direct Government dialogue, we prepared Pizza Hut for every regulation update – information it would later relay confidently to its workforce.
A dynamic move for the business, Hanover rewired Pizza Hut’s communications. This was the first time a structure was put in place for head office to communicate directly with those on the ground and the easiest, and most accessible for all was via WhatsApp – a highly engaging and omni-present platform that would reach all team members immediately quickly and efficiently. A morale booster, a demonstration of genuine value to team members, and an educational tool, our messages ranged from thank-you messages to important safety reminders in line with latest Government guidelines to its multi-lingual delivery team.
Within a matter of hours, our messages were received by 7,500 team members across 60 franchisees and 400 Restaurant General Managers. Our comms system has since won several industry awards, receiving overwhelmingly positive user feedback on the role we helped Pizza Hut play in keeping Britain fed.
We helped Pizza Hut recalibrate their entire business focus – highlighting their local contribution (and supporting local champions like the NHS with free pizzas) – all of which helped them to remain connected internally, stay loyal to customers, and maintain stronger than ever relationships with local constituency MPs and national policymakers. Customer trust ratings rocketed to levels higher than pre-pandemic, with 250+ media hits including BBC Radio 4, Sky News and key industry trades Propel and Retail Times spreading the message.
This communications effort reinforced the business’ public policy asks, elevating Pizza Hut’s influence in Government. It is now a best-in-class example of a system that allowed stakeholders to effectively manage hospitality sector issues. Regularly quoted in top-tier media publications, Pizza Hut are also regularly invited into high-level policy discussions in a way that was not possible before this campaign.
Unlike many other delivery businesses, Pizza Hut Delivery did not down tools once. Sarah Binder, Pizza Hut’s General Counsel for Europe, said “This work has been fantastic. There is no doubt in my mind that this engagement kept our business running and operational through a particularly challenging period.”