Pizza Hut is hoping that a sweet pair of kicks will get you to order more pizza digitally.
As Madness approaches, the pizza chain will be handing out 64 pairs of “Pie Tops” — a shoe that uses an app to let you order a pizza with your footwear — to “influencers” and a few lucky fans.
One of the lucky recipients of the shoes designed by Shoe Surgeon Dominic Chambrone will only need to press a button on the tongue and a pizza order will be on its way.
“This whole promotion is intended to simply highlight how easy it is to order pizza online,” said David Daniels, vice president of media and advertising for the Yum Brands chain.
Like many pizza chains, Pizza Hut was an early adopter of digital and mobile ordering. Roughly half of the company’s delivery and carryout orders are placed digitally, with 70 percent of its online sales coming from mobile devices.
Pizza Hut is trying to grab a larger piece of the mobile pie. The chain has been struggling against its more digital-savvy rivals, and its sales are declining as others grow robustly.
Restaurants have found that mobile orders offer customers an easier way to pay, and their average check tends to be higher than those generated from in-store orders.
Using the Pie Tops app, customers input their preferred order and set up their profile. Then later, using Bluetooth, they press the button and order a pizza. A confirmation notification will appear on the phone’s screen just to ensure the user intended to order.
Pizza Hut also allows customers to order via app, mobile and desktop sites, on a tablet, from Alexa-enabled devices, via Facebook Messenger and Twitter bots, and one-touch reordering online.
In addition, the company is planning an online-only pizza deal that offers any large two-topping pizza for $7.99.
The promotions come as Pizza Hut begins its sponsorship of the NCAA just in time for March Madness, one of 90 championships the organization hosts.
“Pizza and sports go hand in hand,” Daniels told CNBC. “There are no more avid sports fans than college sports fans.”