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International Deal Could Add 2,000-plus Pizza Huts to the Map


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Milind Pant (left), president of Pizza Hut International, and Pablo Juantegui, CEO Telepizza Group, announced a deal between the companies to accelerate growth across Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.

Pizza Hut already says it has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company: nearly 17,000 in more than 100 countries. Now the brand is planning another international push, this time with Madrid-based pizza giant Telepizza Group.

The largest pizza delivery company outside the United States, Telepizza will add to its network of 1,607 Telepizza and Jeno’s Pizza stores by opening Pizza Hut units across Latin America (excluding Brazil), the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland, with a goal of 1,300 new stores over the next 10 years. The 20-year development goal, meanwhile, is 2,550 stores and will make Telepizza the largest master franchisee of Pizza Hut globally by unit count.

In a statement Milind Pant, president of Pizza Hut International, called the deal “ground-breaking” and a “major milestone,” as he added, “Telepizza Group is the ideal partner with the capability, commitment and capital to accelerate Pizza Hut’s expansion into key high-growth regions like Latin America.”

For Telepizza, CEO Pablo Juantegui said the alliance delivers on the group’s “strategic plan to transform pizza delivery with a management model grounded in improving the customer experience through best-in-class operations.”

“The deal accelerates our global growth plan, nearly doubles the scale of our business and extends our international reach to 37 countries, which represent more than 500 million potential consumers,” continued Juantegui, also Telepizza’s executive chairman. “The aspirations and capabilities of Telepizza Group and Pizza Hut International are complementary, and we are confident this deal will drive significant value for customers, employees, franchisees and shareholders as it represents an ideal platform for future growth opportunities.”

In the news release, Enrique Ramirez, Pizza Hut’s global chief growth officer, called out Telepizza’s “incredible depth and capability in franchise operations and supply chain management” as one of reasons for partnering with the group. Telepizza will manage Pizza Hut’s supply chain in Latin America (excluding Brazil), the Caribbean, Spain (including Andorra), Portugal and Switzerland and will become an authorized supplier of Pizza Hut establishments.

In Spain, where Telepizza is already a leading player, and in Portugal, the group will operate Pizza Hut stores and oversee Pizza Hut franchisees. As part of the agreement for Latin American and the Caribbean, Telepizza will oversee existing Pizza Hut ‘zees and also begin converting its own existing Telepizza stores to Pizza Huts, while also accelerating unit growth.

Pizza Hut, a division of Yum Brands, remains in a turnaround phase, Yum CEO Greg Creed said during an earnings call May 2. Same-store sales were up 1 percent for the first quarter, an improvement from the 3 percent drop the previous year. International same-store sales, meanwhile, dropped 2 percent.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
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Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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