The company opened a dough factory to manufacture all the pizzas it sells in Mexico, with a view to exporting to the United States and Canada.
Queretaro. Pizza Hut started in 2019 with the renewal of its image and its menu and is now ready to accelerate its expansion in Mexico, for which from last year, and until the end of 2022, it will invest 30 million dollars.
Jacobo Caller Celestino, general director of Food Delivery Brands Group, the company that acquired the rights to develop the pizzeria, says that of the 33 countries where it operates, it is in Mexico where they see growth potential, due to the number of restaurants that competitors have.
Domino’s Pizza, operated by Alsea in Mexico, has 806 stores, while Little Caesar’s has more than 500. Pizza Hut has 264 units.
“Mexico is a great opportunity for us. What we are going to try to do is go faster than the competition because we still have a long way to go,” declares the CEO of Pizza Hut.
And the ovens are already lit. After a year without new restaurant openings due to COVID-19, in 2021 the company cut the bar on 33 stores, and for this year the plan is to open 60 more units. The goal is to reach 600 restaurants within three to five years.
The company also started with the remodeling of its units, and reduced the size of the restaurants that it had with up to 100 seats to only 25, to take advantage of the space and create home delivery areas, a channel that now represents 60% of its sales in the country. Mexico is for us a great opportunity Jacobo Caller Celestino, CEO of Food Delivery Brands Group
Caller explained that last year they remodeled 36 units. This year there will be 53 and the plan is to finish the remodeling of its own units, which represent 60% of all restaurants, next year.
For the franchised units, the remodeling will end in the following two years, according to the manager’s forecasts. “The idea is to go through cities so that the new image and concept of Pizza Hut becomes known,” he says.
One pizza per minute
For now, the company has opted for the tropicalization of pizzas and has added new flavors, such as pastor. It also added personal packages and baked wings. At Pizza Hut, making a pizza takes about a minute.
The manager adds that so far they have not seen a slowdown in consumption, and at a global level the group has already exceeded pre-pandemic sales by 1.9%, while in Mexico there is “frank growth”.
A hub to export
The pizza chain also opened its first dough factory in Mexico in Querétaro, which will be the second largest after Spain. From here the dough balls will be produced for all the stores in Mexico.
In the first stage, the investment for this center was 7.5 million dollars, and it has a capacity to produce 14 million kilos of dough per year, with the capacity to add a production line and reach 50 million kilos.
Once the plant consolidates operations in the country, the frozen dough will be sent from here to Central America and the United States, according to the manager.
“From the second year we will begin to test exports to markets that are not very large, for example, the Caribbean, and when the local team has the experts, we can focus on other countries.