Pizza Hut plans to increase the number of outlets to 135 from the current 98, and expand its presence in smaller towns, Mr Pankaj Batra, Director (Marketing), Yum! Restaurants International, said.
The investment per restaurant will be about Rs 1.5 crore, he said. He was talking to reporters at the launch of the new pizza crust `Freshizza.' Mr Batra said the company had commissioned a study by the Indian Market Research Bureau on consumer preferences. One of the main findings is that freshness of food is of prime importance to the Indian consumer. There are many households where food from the previous day is discarded, he said.
India is the first market in which Pizza Hut has launched this product, he said. To cater to Indian tastes, the company launched tandoori pizzas. For Freshizza, each restaurant makes dough several times a day, he said. The price range starts from Rs 95. It is available in medium and family sizes.
Mr Manish Tandon, CEO of Pizzeria Food Restaurant India Pvt Ltd (Pizza Hut's franchisee for South India), said that there are plans to set up a Pizza Hut in the information technology corridor in Chennai. Mr Batra claimed that the company has a 40 per cent of market share. Across the country, Pizza Hut records over 50,000 footfalls a day, he said.