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New ideas, new IT, new business in association with


New ide IT, new b

Written by Tom Wadlow P


eas, new business

Produced by Andrew Lloyd


Over the past three years Pizza Hut Restaurants UK has matured and innovated its IT operations, leading to tangible benefits that ultimately enable restaurant team members to provide a better experience and service to guests up and down the country

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or more than 40 years UK pizza lovers have been dining in Pizza Hut restaurants. From a single store in Islington, London, to 268 outlets with more than 8,000 staff, a lot has happened since 1973. It is, however, the last three years which has seen arguably the most significant degree of change. The brand is evolving fast, thanks to innovation and transformation inside and outside of the restaurant. By the end of this year, 192 restaurants will have been refurbished. New menus and cocktail bars are generating an entirely new evening atmosphere all helping to provide a better experience and service to guests Working behind the visual refresh,

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technology has proven to be the great enabler of improvement. Keith Frimley is Pizza Hut Restaurants UK’s IT Director, joining in March 2013 to oversee the separation of the restaurant business’s IT from YUM! and to develop a 5 year IT roadmap to improve the technology to help team members deliver great guest experience. Now with a team of 19 behind him, the vision is very much to plan, build, run and service all things technology to best possible standards. “The ultimate vision is to provide business leadership in technology to enhance our operational capability,” he adds. “By doing that, we will be providing first class support on the new IT systems, and on the people


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Redefining Service A smooth restaurant system enables our team members to focus on service


Pizza Hut Restaurants and Oracle Maximising Technology As witness to the refurbishment of nearly 200 Pizza Hut Restaurants in the UK during the past three years, Keith Frimley, the chain’s IT director, is intimately familiar with the relentless pace of modernisation. Teaming with an IT partner who drives innovation to meet ever-changing needs is essential in today’s marketplace, according to Frimley. That criterion explains Pizza Hut Restaurants enduring 12-year partnership with Oracle and MICROS Systems, which was acquired by the former in 2014 to establish the industry’s preferred solutions provider, Oracle Hospitality. Here Frimley discusses Pizza Hut Restaurants partnership with Oracle whilst providing his top tips for choosing technology today that is ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Choose software and hardware that’s engineered to work together: “Fundamentally, we need a robust, effective restaurant enterprise system that enables us to take customers’ orders and process them to the kitchen to ensure that food gets to our customers on time and enhances the customer experience. A smooth restaurant system enables our team members to focus on service rather than worry about logistics or how the restaurant system is performing.” The right IT can create efficiencies across the enterprise, from increasing staff productivity to improving process performance: “If we didn’t have a good restaurant enterprise system, then we would be manning the restaurant with a higher number of team members. For example, with the tablet technology that we’re now introducing to our restaurant, it enables our team members to serve customers faster and more accurately, and they can deal with more customers at one time. From the order processing point of view, sending the order from the point-of-sale terminal to the kitchen and having KDS screens enable kitchen staff to see what they need to make – it’s far more effective than having pieces of paper flying across the restaurant.” Continuously invest in technology not just to offer new services but to bolster brand relevance: “The next work we are in early stages of planning with Oracle is to implement Oracle commerce platform – giving our guests the ability to order and pay the

way they want to pay. Imagine if you’re a guest in our restaurant and you’ve already been served once, but you want to top off an order with another drink. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just order that drink on your mobile app? That gets fired to the bar, and it’s delivered to you. And once you’re ready to pay your bill, you can actually pay your bill from the mobile app, too. That’s something we’re going to implement in 2017. It’s quite an exciting element not only for our guests, but for our team members to show that we’re investing in this technology.” Select POS systems with the ability to seamlessly integrate third-party innovations to meet evolving demands: “We’re constantly trying to elevate the restaurant experience. In the near future that may be through targeted, personalized coupons. For instance, when you last came into the restaurant you ordered a margarita pizza and a Long Island iced tea. So we could then actually push a notification to you with offers for that order. Or we may move forward with beacon technology, so if we know that you’re wandering past our restaurant we can push a notification to you, saying, “Come in today – we’ve got these special offers.” It’s all about increasing customer engagement so they feel that they’re really valued. And I’m sure there will be integration with social media. If you’re on Facebook, and you fancy ordering a product, you can just press an icon – and it’ll order your (favorite) pizza.” Plan for Cloud now – it’s adoption is inevitable: Industry experts say the on-premise model is unsustainable, considering that 75% of expenses are drained by routine maintenance and integration efforts, leaving only 25% available for actual innovation. “With cloud, the overall administration and speed of change will be so much more effective. But that’s just one thing. There’s also the cost of ownership and financial impacts. The benefit is actually not to have to replace server technology, which is quite costly. Each of our restaurants has a back-of-house server; a cloud-based solution will remove it. It’ll also have central configuration so that’ll lead to great omni-channel enablement. Right now, when we create a menu in a restaurant, we then have to replicate that menu on a web interface and then on a mobile interface. What I really need is one system that can feed all of those channels. Ultimately, with cloud, we’ll enjoy a good return on investment. As yet we are some way from making the move to cloud but this is certainly in our longer term strategy”


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side have a team of customer driven By the end of 2016 48 restaurants people with a focussed can-do will have been introduced to the new attitude. In terms of reliability, we system. “This has been particularly want to ensure dependable on-time effective,” comments Frimley. “It has delivery of services and products to proved that we can make better use our restaurants and facilitate secure of staff’s time, as team members access to information systems can deal with more customers by anytime, anywhere via mobile.” not writing down orders and walking Indeed, ‘technology at the heart to and from the kitchen. It also of the development of Pizza Hut removes errors and speeds up the Restaurants’ forms ordering process.” the crux of Frimley’s “As well as tablets, five year plan, which we have also upgraded focuses on four key a lot of our point of areas: In restaurant sales terminals in our technology; CRM, restaurants. Pizza The year that digital and social media; Hut Restaurants first Pizza Hut was Business intelligence introduced the terminals founded and institutional in around 2005, but knowledge and, over the next three finally, infrastructure. years all of them will be upgraded, which is a considerable investment. Restaurants revitalised We have already rolled out 300, The five-year plan bids to build on vast with another 350 coming by the enhancements and upgrades already end of the year and another 400 in made since 2013, no more evident early 2017. It will increase reliability than in the restaurants themselves. and support - for instance, when New Windows 8 Lenovo tablets are we require menu changes, the new linked up to the point of sales systems, system will reload more smoothly.” allowing staff to take orders digitally. As soon as orders ring through, it

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“Redfaire is not just a supplier to us, but a strategic partner. Thanks to Redfaire’s outstanding support of our Oracle ERP system, and their technical know-how around Cloud, we have an extremely cost-effective and user-friendly ERP system. With Redfaire looking after our ERP system, we know that we are in safe hands, issues get resolved quickly, efficiently and with no hassle.”

Keith Frimley, IT Director, Pizza Hut Restaurants

“Redfaire shares Pizza Hut Restaurants’ ethos of outstanding customer service. Like our team at Pizza Hut Restaurants, Redfaire people don’t just clock in, they always go the extra mile.”

“Our customers value the sense of security that comes from knowing that we’ll help them ‘keep the lights on’ and that we are committed to helping them unlock latent value in their Applications. We help our clients to continuously create value.”

Christian Fronteras, Managing Director, Redfaire Global Support


Redfaire Optimising and Supporting Oracle ERP at Pizza Hut Restaurants In 2014, Redfaire worked with Pizza Hut Restaurants to upgrade Oracle’s JD Edwards ERP and to move their on-premise ERP to a private Cloud. As part of the upgrade, Redfaire and Pizza Hut Restaurants took advantage of the latest technology to bring tighter Point of Sale integration to enable automated reconciliation of restaurant data. Since then, with a 100% guaranteed uptime, Redfaire Global Support has provided 24x7 IT Support to Pizza Hut Restaurants’ Oracle

A Winning Partnership Redfaire Global Support works hand in hand with the IT team at Pizza Hut Restaurants to optimise their Oracle ERP system. It is a long-standing and strong partnership which is based on a shared ethos of excellence in customer service and a no-nonsense, can-do attitude.

ERP team.

This model has many advantages for Pizza Hut Restaurants: • Moving the on-premise ERP to the Cloud has allowed Pizza Hut Restaurants to reduce costs and to benefit from Cloud-based infrastructure. • ERP in the Cloud offers Pizza Hut Restaurants agility, scalability, and future-proofs their ERP. • Outsourcing ERP support means that the IT team has time to focus on more strategic initiatives, safe in the knowledge that they have a team of experts on hand to support their back-office business systems.

Redfaire Global Support was chosen by Pizza Hut Restaurants thanks to their deep technical and functional skills, clearly defined methodology and proven commitment to maintaining

focus on what they do best. What’s more, because Oracle ERP Support is our core business, we can deliver this service in a highly cost-effective and efficient manner. We work with a diverse group of customers across EMEA, from ambitious SMBs to large multinational companies. However, what all our customers have in common is that they appreciate the hassle free, personalized service we deliver.

the highest quality standards. Redfaire Global Support is ISO27001 certified (British Standard Institute - BSI) and the company places data security at the heart of service delivery.

About Redfaire Global Support Redfaire Global Support is part of Redfaire International, a leading Oracle ERP partner in EMEA.

www.redfaireinternational.com hello@redfaireinternational.com +44 (0)118 965 3904 @RedfaireERP

By letting us look after the day-to-day support of Oracle ERP and its users, our customers have more time to Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.


is vital that the kitchen is made aware of what is needed and when, and this is where a new restaurant enterprise system has been earning its crust. Old and multiple versions of the software has been upgraded to one common version of Oracles Micros RES3700, a unified platform rolled out across the restaurant network. “The last thing we want is half an order being ready and waiting on the side for the rest to catch up,” Frimley says. “The system stages an order for the kitchen. It will tell you to first start cooking a pizza, and then three minutes later it will notify you to start making the sides to go with it.” Crucially, the Restaurant Enterprise System also keeps track of inventory levels as and when orders are made, allowing restaurants to know exactly what goods need ordering at any particular time. Further optimising service is the simple addition of buzzers to prompt front-of-house staff when food is ready to be taken to tables, again helping to enhance customer experiences and turnover tables more efficiently. Customers are also benefitting from

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the provision of free Wi-Fi from O2, introduced in 2013, which has allowed Pizza Hut Restaurants to gather crucial customer insight data and engage them with offers and promotions. Appwardly mobile The most notable promotion comprises a loyalty points system available through the iOS and Androidenabled mobile app, a huge area of focus for Frimley for next year. Since the national launch in May over 100,000 customers have downloaded the app and are participating in the points deal. The app allows customers to book tables, order take-away and collect rewards when dining in. Rewards include a choice of free food, such as free sides or pizza as a reward after three and six visits respectively. Additional offers like free desserts and money off vouchers are also available. The app forms part of a wider strategy to appeal to the millennial market. It is the improvements in the pipeline next year that energises Frimley. “The exciting thing for us next year is the opportunity to extend the reach of


the app,” he says. “Customers will be able to order and pay for food and drink on their mobile device, either in the restaurant or before they arrive. “You could book your table and also order your food, which we’ll have ready for when you sit down, and even then you can add things on and pay when you like. That lapse time between deciding to leave and paying bills can be frustrating for customers, so this offers real flexibility and speed.” Supporting team members Team members have been the other major beneficiaries of Pizza Hut Restaurants’ recent IT investments. Hutters, formerly known as HutSpace, is an internal social network built on Microsoft Yammer to help staff engage better with the Restaurant Support Centre and each other. “Having 268 restaurants across the UK can make it difficult to generate proper team member feedback,” Frimley explains. “We only have 120 employees in the RSC but 8,000 across the restaurant network, so we needed a platform which would help engagement”.


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8 years! Celebrating 8 years as Pizza Hut’s Technology Partner Application and Security Managed Service Provider We are at the centre of today’s business and technology revolution. With UK based on-premise, public and hybrid cloud platforms for enterprise applications CSI helps transform complexity into simplicity. CSI understand that applications drive business and CSI manages applications securely.


“We chose Yammer because it Team members can also enjoy is Software-as-a-service (SaaS) content generated by The School hosted in Microsoft cloud, it has of Life, its behavioural learning mobile applications meaning anyone which is using external expertise to can access it anywhere. It provides deliver behavioural and personal us 24/7 access and everybody development to all our team members now has an email address.” for free on top of their traditional Feedback has so far been training. It’s blended whole person extremely positive, and 3,800 staff development and the tech of Yammer are currently using the portal, with has allowed it to be delivered, but individual restaurants also accessed wherever able to set up their and whenever team own groups and drive members want it. localised discussions. Pizza Hut Restaurants Team member rotas UK’s Chief People The amount of and training videos, and Marketing Officer revenue produced played through Hut TV, Kathryn Austin recently by Pizza Hut along with emergency won HR Director of Restaurants UK IT support are other the Year award at helpful tools. the HR Excellence “It’s a great way of getting feedback awards. Her adoption and from our restaurants, in fact our CEO implementation of Yammer was has appeared several times on there, praised by award organisers. posting ‘ask me anything, and I will This open communications answer it’,” Frimley adds. “Menu underpins the behavioural culture of discussions also take place, app the organisation, through the best of discussions take place, and customer me and best of us approach as well feedback can be posted on there too, as assists the technology journey. helping us to recognise the great work Supplementing the additional carried out by individual restaurants.” organisational benefits of the

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Hutters network is a new workforce management system, implemented by Verteda. This has enabled Restaurant managers a greater degree of accuracy and control over labour planning and deployment, as restaurants can forecast how many employees will be needed for any given shift at any given restaurant. With accurate labour forecasting, based on activity and sales data, you can build efficiency, grow revenue and positively impact the restaurant’s bottom line. “Without this you are in danger of impacting the ability to properly serve customers which, if we’re going to be the best place to eat, we have to get right,” Frimley adds. Backstage Behind the scenes, several key partnerships have transformed vital IT processes, from enterprise resource planning through to 24-hour IT support services. A key task for Frimley when joining in 2013 was to review upgrades to Pizza Hut Restaurants’ ERP software, which back then comprised JD

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Edwards AS/400. He decided the best course of action was to stick to the expertise of Oracle and keep the JD Edwards product suite, bringing in Redfaire to implement the upgrade. Numerous benefits have been reaped from the move. “We upgraded to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne release 9.1, taking the opportunity to adopt a SaaS approach, using Redfaire to host the application in its Cloud 9 private cloud infrastructure,” Frimley explains. “This has given us a far more robust service level agreement and disaster recovery. The user interface is now a web-based setup, which is far more user friendly for our teams and more intuitive.” Pizza Hut Restaurants’ underlying server and network infrastructure, including that which runs their main website and key business intelligence systems has been successfully supported, monitored and maintained as part of a Managed Service Contract held with CSI for the past eight years, while Retail Assist provides crucial support to keep the business online when problems arise.

“One of the challenges we faced was the quality of support and service to our restaurants,” Frimley says. “I had no awareness of the call volumes being made, key issues, let alone the information needed for my team to identify trends and root causes. For me it was very important to implement a one-stop-shop for our restaurants to report and resolve any IT issues, to have a single point of contact where all calls can be logged.” After three months, having transferred the knowledge of how a Pizza Hut restaurant works, Frimley saw a step up in service. The number of incidents gradually reduced and the Helpdesk is now delivering an impressive first time fix rate of 90 percent. Retail Assist, awarded Best Managed Service Desk by the Service Desk Institute, also provides early morning global checks and validation of systems, meaning IT has been thoroughly checked before staff arrive for work. All suppliers and partners are encouraged by Pizza Hut Restaurants to visit the sites and grasp a feel of the

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“IT at restaurants should be like turning your lights on, a given that it will work, like electricity - that is the panacea. Job well done” – Keith Frimley, IT Director

PROUD TO BE THE SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR PIZZA HUT RESTAURANTS’ IT AROUND THE CLOCK For award winning IT service desk support contact us on: +44(0)115 904 2777 | www.retail-assist.co.uk | info@retail-assist.co.uk

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pressures of service, creating a picture long term customers to Frimley, of how their services can translate into whose vision can be described by frontline impact. “In general I look to standing in his customers’ shoes. work with partners and suppliers who Frimley explains: “In terms of what are challengers, come to the table with our customers will notice, I want them fresh ideas and who have a strong to say ‘I have reliable and secure track record,” Frimley adds. “Most access to the products and services importantly they do what they say I use; our IT Team deliver great value they’re going to do, as our suppliers through services, products and are an extension of our IT team.” provide up to date technology, they “We have introduced are always bringing new a formal supplier ideas on how technology review process which may assist and improve includes a Supplier the business and of the year award, ultimately the service The number of enabling ourselves and to our guests and value staff employed our partners to provide to our shareholders. by Pizza Hut feedback and ensure The support of our Restaurants UK that jointly we maintain systems is first class.’” high service levels”. And as an internal supplier to the business, Frimley’s Foot on the pedal end game is for his customers to say: Though much has already been ‘IT are jointly owning the success achieved in three years, with new of the business by working with technology coupled with a balance operations to provide and operate of leveraging existing applications world class IT solutions in the giving a blended platform to Restaurants rather than just provide build upon, plenty of hard work kit that works. They are always there, still lies ahead. Restaurants and 24/7 to assist us help improve the IT colleagues are considered effectiveness of the operations.’

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The past few years has seen IT move from what Frimley describes as “firefighters to trusted operators”, and with new innovations such as the app extension coming in next year, technology looks set to drive the business forward in the future, enabling the IT team to deliver business value. In Asia new innovations include robot waiters, while the UK team’s new Subconscious Menu concept is also making waves. Frimley explains: “The digital menu uses eye tracking software to assess where the customer is looking on the menu and then using a mathematical algorithm, determines which pizza is most suited to their tastes. When 200 customers tested the Subconscious

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Menu, it had a 98 percent success rate of recommending pizzas that customers enjoyed. “We love to excite and innovate. We wanted to try a few ideas on the traditional menu format and we’re delighted to have developed the world’s first Subconscious Menu, a unique way to reinvent the dining experience.” Although robot waiters are not on the near future menu as they are in Pizza Hut Asia, best practice and excellence remain the overriding priorities. Frimley concludes: “Ultimately, we are running IT as a business. IT in restaurants should be like turning your lights on, a given that it will work, like electricity – that is the panacea. Job well done.”


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1 Imperial Place , Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK WD6 1JN

0208 732 9000 keith.frimley@phr.co.uk

www.pizzahut.co.uk/restaurants


Pizza Hut brochure - 2016