Does convenience work as a good marketing tactic? Some fast food chains are betting on it by basically attempting to serve customers right on their couches. Yesterday Pizza Hut and Microsoft announced that consumers will now be able to purchase and order pizza through Xbox Live. Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that Burger King plans to take the next step in its delivery service experiment by expanding to select restaurants in Chicago and Los Angeles – the chain has already tested the concept in Washington, D.C., Houston, Miami and New York.
In the case of Pizza Hut, the brand is hoping that this leads to a better connection with the coveted 18 to 24-year-old male demographic. According to Pizza Hut, 25% of all orders are currently digital. They expect that number to double within the next five years. Making ordering accessible through a game console will only expedite that growth. As Pizza Hut Chief Marketing Officer Kurt Kane pointed out, most families are now spending more time around game consoles than they are around dinner tables. Jest aside, it will be interesting to see how it translates, especially since snacking on pizza is something that has become so symbiotic with playing video games.
Oh, and did I mention that it will be possible to place an order using Xbox Kinect? Very nifty.
Burger King may be taking the convenience route in order to stand out from competitors, as there doesn’t appear to be delivery service provided by any other mainstream burger joints. Rivals like Subway, Panera and even McDonald’s have recently been rolling out a variety new, healthy products, while Burger King has remained relatively silent on that front. Perhaps the fact that consumers won’t have to set foot out their front door for a Whopper will serve as enough encouragement to forget about variety and choose ease.
In either case, this is an interesting situation in which two well established brands are choosing convenience as a major platform on which to stand.