Pizza Hut Testing Carry-Out Pizza Lockers For Introverts

While other pizza chains battle for supremacy on the delivery front, Pizza Hut is rethinking the carry-out experience. The chain announced that it's revamped a Hollywood, California location to test a new pizza pick-up system, starting today. The new process means customers will never have to speak to a person while picking up their pizzas, which a press release calls a boon to "the time-strapped introvert in all of us."

Here's how it works:

  1. Customers place their orders via the Pizza Hut app, website, in store, or by phone call.
  2. Customers pay via the app, website, or by phone/person.
  3. In the store, lockers with digital displays indicate which pizzas are ready for pick up, with partial names on each locker so you know which order is yours.
  4. Customers double-tap the screen on their cubby, and it opens to reveal their order.

If this sounds like an Amazon Locker set-up, that's what we thought of, too. But unlike Amazon Locker, Pizza Hut says these cubbies are lined with special material designed to keep pizza hot and drinks cold.

A question that immediately came to our jaded, suspicious minds: What's to keep someone from making off with someone else's pizzas? (A crime of the highest order.) A spokeswoman for Pizza Hut told The Takeout the door will only unlock once the customer is in store: "If you order through the Pizza Hut app and pay ahead of time, customers will simply sign a receipt when they arrive in-store to pick up their food. Once the receipt is signed, the customer's name and cubby number will appear on the digital display above the cubby wall and on the upper corner of the designated cubby. Then their designated cubby will unlock and the customer will just tap twice to open the cubby and retrieve his/her food."

This pilot location opened yesterday, and Pizza Hut says it's planning additional locations along the West Coast to open in 2020.