Yum! Brands, Inc., as part of digital transformation, has unveiled a slew of technological advancements aimed at revolutionizing the customer experience across its iconic restaurant chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.
As the company gears up to mark significant milestones in 2024, boasting over 30,000 restaurants at KFC, 20,000 at Pizza Hut, and a staggering 60,000 globally, Yum! Brands has crossed the monumental $60 billion system sales threshold despite encountering challenges worldwide.
Leveraging its proprietary digital and AI-driven ecosystem, Yum! Brands has reported remarkable success in enhancing top-line results and bottom-line profits. With digital sales surging to nearly $30 billion in 2023, representing a notable 22 percent year-over-year increase and constituting over 45 percent of the sales mix, the company’s digital strategy is clearly paying dividends.
Yum! Brands does not reveal the size of its AI investment in bolstering its digital transformation efforts to enhance customer experience.
Pizza Hut global chief technology officer, Joe Park, will be moving into the Yum! chief digital and technology officer role currently held by Clay Johnson, who will continue as a senior advisor.
Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs emphasized the significance of equipping franchise partners with distinctive capabilities, particularly in emerging markets, through the accelerated deployment of proprietary technologies. This includes the implementation of the Tictuk platform for kiosk rollout in KFC Latin America markets. KFC Latin America markets began the rollout of kiosks using proprietary Tictuk platform this year and plan to triple the restaurant count in 2024.
Poseidon, its proprietary point-of-sale system, which was expanded to an additional 1,700 Taco Bell U.S. restaurants, resulting in 5,000 restaurants having been onboarded this year.
The deployment of the Dragontail AI platform has also seen significant expansion, with over 4,000 new restaurants onboarded in the past year, bringing the total to nearly 7,000 establishments across Pizza Hut and KFC. Looking ahead to 2024, Yum! Brands aims to further scale its software globally, with plans to launch Dragontail in an additional 6,000 restaurants.
Furthermore, Yum! Brands is spearheading innovation in inventory management, with its AI-driven Automated Inventory Management system now utilized in 90 percent of KFC U.S. locations and driving more seamless processes for restaurant managers across Taco Bell U.S. as well.
Yum! Brands said roughly half of Taco Bell U.S. restaurants are driving more seamless and more accurate inventory ordering processes for restaurant managers. More than 3,000 additional restaurants across KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut will be onboarded to the Automated Inventory Management system in 2024.
The introduction of the Custom-built Super App, offering smart automated routine management tools, has further streamlined operations, with over 8,500 Pizza Hut restaurants already benefiting from its implementation.
With a focus on leveraging global scale to drive insights and facilitate quicker decision-making, Yum! Brands is poised to continue its trajectory of growth and innovation. As Taco Bell U.S. prepares to integrate key technologies into its operations, including the Poseidon point-of-sale system and the Yum! Commerce Platform, the brand is set to exemplify the fusion of culinary excellence with cutting-edge technology.
Yum! Brands has expanded the reach of Yum! global data hub, which captures the vast majority of global transaction-level sales data and other key operational and customer metrics.
In 2024, Easy Insights team will develop and test new AI-driven capabilities that pull from the global data hub and integrate into own technology platforms, including personalized upsell recommendations for customers ordering on our digital platforms, intelligent menu pricing recommendations, and dynamic restaurant routines for general managers.
Optimizing digital channels is contributing to growth in Taco Bell’s loyalty program with active loyalty users growing 17 percent in 2023. The team plans to bring exciting enhancements to the loyalty program in the second half of 2024 to capitalize on digital engagement and provide an easier experience for customers to earn and redeem points.
Yum! Brands’ commitment to digital advancement is not only reshaping the restaurant landscape but also cementing its position as a leader in the intersection of food and technology. As the company looks towards the future, its dedication to innovation promises to redefine the dining experience for customers worldwide.