Pizza Hut Celebrates 20th Anniversary of World’s First Online Purchase

Pizza Hut Celebrates 20th Anniversary of World's First Online Purchase With 50 Percent Off Online Deal for Hut Lovers Members

In recognition of the 20-year anniversary of a Pizza Hut pizza being the first physical good ever purchased over the internet, Pizza Hut will offer 50 percent off any medium or large pizza ordered online until Jan. 10, 2014. Before books, apparel or travel were ever bought online, or online specific retailers took to the internet, “PizzaNet” – Pizza Hut’s digital ordering hub – launched in 1994 and accepted the first-ever online order, a large pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese pizza.

“We want to celebrate the fact that before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut. “We’re doing so by giving back to our customers who have helped us lead the way with digital innovations over the last 20 years.”

The technology used to make online ordering a reality in 1994 on PizzaNet evolved into a more current-generation web-ordering experience that launched for a handful of restaurants in 2001.

That led the way for nationwide online ordering at PizzaHut.com in years to follow. Today,PizzaHut.com is the foundation of the brand’s digital footprint and serves as the largest pizza restaurant in the world.

In 2003, customers could place orders up to a week in advance online, making planning for the big football game easier than ever. In 2007, Pizza Hut became the first national pizza company to launch a Facebook page, where the brand now boasts more than 10 million fans.

As online sales reached $1 billion dollars by 2008, Pizza Hut launched a category-first ordering app for the iPhone in 2009. In 2013, Pizza Hut took it a step further with an ordering app for Xbox 360, the first tangible good ever offered within the Xbox LIVE marketplace.

As a result, Mobile ordering, the fastest growing division within digital at Pizza Hut, has grown by 4,000 percent in the last three years.  In 2013, Pizza Hut surpassed $6 billion in all-time digital sales.

“Our focus on digital, from 1994 to today and into the future, is about creatively engaging with our customers in ways that fit their evolving lifestyles,” said Rohit Kapoor, chief information officer at Pizza Hut. “We knew we were on to something 20 years ago with PizzaNet, and we haven’t stopped innovating since the day that first order was placed.”

The advertising campaign celebrating the brand’s digital leadership and announcing the 50 percent off deal is led by a new commercial featuring none other than 90s pop group Ace of Base and their hit “The Sign.” The ad can be viewed on the Pizza Hut YouTube page at www.youtube.com/pizzahut

For more information and the latest brand happenings or to sign up for Hut Lovers, visit PizzaHut.com.

About Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:  YUM), delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant in the world. In 2013, Pizza Hut was named the Harris Poll Equitrend® Pizza Brand of the Year and was the recipient of the Innovation and Leadership in Advertising Award from the American Advertising Federation, 10th District. The only pizza company to be named a top ten franchise in 2013 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Pizza Hut began 55 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and today operates more than 14,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Pizza Hut also is the proprietor of the BOOK IT! ® Program, which is a long-standing children’s literacy program used in more than 620,000 classrooms nationwide. To order online from Pizza Hut, visit PizzaHut.com.