Restaurant pickup doesn’t get nearly as much publicity as delivery these days, but that could change as more quick-service brands widen their delivery offerings. Yum! Brands — parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC — is clearly betting on that. During its Q1 2019 earnings call this week, Yum CEO Greg Creed that Taco Bell is testing out this order-ahead option on the Grubhub app.

Order ahead isn’t a new capability for Taco Bell, who has offered its “click-and-collect” functionality through the restaurant app for years. On the call, however, Creed noted that customer feedback from the Taco Bell-Grubhub partnership has been positive, and that it should give the chain a wider reach in future.

Taco Bell launched nationwide delivery earlier this year. But for it and other QSRs, earlier this year, click and collect is potentially a very lucrative space, since the segment’s lower ticket prices make it harder for some consumers to justify paying for a delivery fee. As eMarketer pointed out not long ago, “consumers don’t mind sacrificing some convenience in order to save on fees.” With smaller items like coffee and breakfast becoming more widely available on third-party platforms like Grubhub, the ability to order ahead and collect the goods on, say, the way to work, could become a huge money-maker for brands.

KFC, meanwhile, is also benefiting from the Grubhub integration with Yum’s companies. Creed reported that KFC now has 2,200 locations offering delivery and 3,200 offering click and collect. KFC will be available nationwide for delivery later this year, Creed said. “I always jokingly say I think the Colonel 60 years ago invented the bucket realizing one day we’d delivery it.  It’s the perfect delivery vehicle,” he said.

Pizza Hut, who manages its own delivery drivers even with Grubhub orders, was the worst-performing brand of the portfolio, with flat same-store sales and a decline in new units. Creed noted on the call that “sustainable improvements in sales growth will remain a slow build.” He also hinted at leveraging Grubhub more where Pizza Hut is concerned, but didn’t elaborate on how that might look in the future.

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Jenn is a writer and editor for The Spoon who covers restaurant tech and food delivery, developments in agriculture and indoor farming, and startup accelerators and incubators. On the side, she moonlights as a ghostwriter for tech industry executives and spends a lot of time on the road exploring food developments in more remote parts of the country. Previously, she was managing editor of Gigaom’s market research department and was once a competitive pinball player. Jenn splits her time between NYC and Nashville, TN.

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