How does a restaurant selling pizza find brand purpose?

Every brand needs purpose, but how does a restaurant that sells pizza find theirs? We asked our client, Pizza Hut Restaurants

Every brand needs purpose, but how does a restaurant that sells pizza find theirs? We asked our client, Pizza Hut Restaurants

It’s quite easy to be flippant about a restaurant or retail brand talking about finding its purpose. Surely the purpose for a pizza chain is to sell pizza? To cook and serve pizza? That is certainly what the restaurant does, but to find a purpose requires a deeper look. Gareth Hopley, Head of PR and Communications at Pizza Hut Restaurants takes us inside.

More than pizza

We at Pizza Hut Restaurants found our purpose when we stopped and thought about our fundamental truth. We serve people. People are our business, both the people we serve but also the people who work for us.

Giving people a great and memorable experience is at the heart of our business model. It’s at the heart of what we do and it’s at the heart of what will make us successful.

We have over two and a half million customers a month and over 8,000 employees. If all of those people love their time at the Hut, then as well as running a successful business, we’ll be making a significant impact on many lives. There are so many places to work and eat out there, so when people choose to spend their time with us, it’s our responsibility to give them the experience they are looking for.

That’s why our vision is “To be the Most Loved Place to Eat and Work”. We’ll never make our customers feel better than we make our own people feel, so we invest in both our team members and our guests at the same time.

We provide behavioural and emotional training, managerial support, and  a voice for every employee. We’re also redeveloping our restaurants and menus to benefit staff and customers alike; ensuring the business is focussing on the people.

The extra mile

To truly have a purpose do you have to go further? If serving people is truly our purpose, then what else can we do? What else should we do?

An unfortunate statistic tells us that one in four people in this country are affected by mental health in some capacity, often without anyone around them knowing. As an industry, mental health is something we need to do more to support.

We have partnered with Mental Health UK as our charity partner, to not just raise money for them, but to raise awareness and to break the taboo which sees many people unwilling or unable to talk about what affects them. If we have 8,000 employees and over two and a half million customers a month, one in four people means a lot of people impacted by this interact with our business, and if we can help them in anyway, we should.

It’s often slightly disingenuous when big brands talk about their purpose and dream of saving the world. Is advertising your purpose just the latest marketing technique to connect with consumers?

Possibly, but when a brand has a purpose because it sits naturally with what they do, it’s genuine and it leads to decision making which does more than make money, it does some good. Which is why finding your purpose is important for everyone connected with the brand

Gareth is Head of PR and Communications at Pizza Hut Restaurants, and can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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