Pizza Hut will soon be delivering pizza that's hot, cheesy and sealed for your protection.
Starting next week, the restaurant chain will be putting tamper-proof safety seals on all of its large and medium-sized pizza boxes. The safety seal must be broken by a customer in order to get to the food.
But how is this "seal" different from a plain piece of tape?
Unlike a simple sticker, Pizza Hut's safety seal features security cuts and a center perforation. The security cuts throughout the safety seal and perforation make it very difficult to remove from a box without destroying the seal altogether or imparting noticeable damage. This makes it easy for a customer to tell if their order has been tampered with.
In addition to sealing pizza boxes, the new "tamper proof" seal will be used on Pizza Hut's Dinner Box, Big Dinner Box and Big Dipper orders.
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Since the coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants across the country to close their dine-in seating areas, Pizza Hut, which has over 7,000 locations in the U.S., has been relying on delivery orders and no-contact pickup to keep business going, making its to-go packaging even more important.
Last summer, a survey conducted by restaurant food supplier and distributor US Foods found that 25% of delivery workers who worked for companies like Uber Eaters and Postmates admitted to sampling the food they were delivering to customers. After the survey was released, Postmates said complaints about "food tampering represent less than 0.06% of cases reported to (its) Trust & Safety team," but said the company was engaged in active discussions with lawmakers about how to enhance the safety of food delivery as it becomes increasingly popular.
Since the outbreak, Pizza Hut reported that contactless delivery now accounts for over 60% of its online orders. For customers who still wish to pick up their pies after placing an order online, they can drive to a restaurant location and a worker (wearing gloves) will place the pizza directly into the trunk of their cars.
The chain says it has also taken other measures to enhance the safety of its team members and customers, like making personal protective equipment, such as masks, widely available, conducting employee temperature checks regularly and setting up counter shields to provide a barrier between team members and customers.
“Now more than ever, Pizza Hut has an important role in feeding families and those looking for safe, fast and reliable food from a brand they can trust," George Felix, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut US, told TODAY via email.
Before the pandemic, Pizza Hut had already started adapting U.S. operations to focus on its delivery business. In August, Pizza Hut announced it would be closing hundreds of its dine-in restaurants.