Pizza Hut Hunts For Larger Slice Of Market
Pizza Hut is hoping to increase its slice of the home delivery market by matching the store count of its key rival.
It said it aims to open at least 100 new stores by 2014 through an investment estimated at £20m.
Pizza Hut Delivery currently has around 300 stores in England, Wales and Scotland, both company-owned and franchises but hopes to increase its number to match Domino's Pizza.
Spokesman Mark Fox said: "The long-term goal is to establish a solid base of over 700 delivery stores across the UK, with an immediate business focus of delivering an additional 100 stores."
As of September 24, Domino's had 699 stores in the UK, including one mobile unit.
The Pizza Hut expansion comes amid rapid growth in online ordering for home delivery pizzas.
Domino's recently revealed it took nearly 60% of its orders online in the second quarter.
Mr Fox added: "Our investment will increase our marketing spend, drive the outlet numbers and visibility of Pizza Hut Delivery, and create opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses quickly."
Pizza Hut said it would offer an incentive to existing and would-be franchisees.
The expansion could help create up to 2,000 full or part-time jobs.
Yum! Brands, the US owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, recently sold its 330 UK dine-in pizza restaurants as it redirected its focus towards home delivery.