Coronavirus prompts Pizza Hut, KFC to expand contactless ordering

Yum! Brands limits contact between employees and customers amid COVID-19

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Pizza Hut wants to ensure its customers remain healthy when ordering meals for curbside pickup amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The company, which is owned by Yum! Brands, announced in a recent press release it is expanding its contactless options for online orders and will utilize tamper-proof safety seals. These new policies are meant to safeguard the pizzas so customers will be “the first to touch their food” after it has been taken out of an oven that’s 400-plus degrees.

Pizza Hut will be applying "tamper-proof safety seals" to its pizza boxes. This will ensure that customers are "the first to touch their food" after it's taken out of the oven. (Pizza Hut)

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Additionally, more than 10 million non-surgical-grade face masks will be distributed throughout the restaurant chain for employees along with counter shields, single-use disposables gloves, social distancing reminders and team temperatures checks.

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“The health and safety of our team members, customers and the communities we serve remains our top priority,” said Nicolas Burquier, Pizza Hut’s chief customer and operations officer. “We understand people trust us to provide safe, fast and reliable food to feed them and their families. We take that responsibility very seriously and these new measures are reaffirmation of that mentality.”

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Yum! Brands is also implementing new measures in its other chain restaurants.

KFC announced it is taking steps to up the safety at each of its locations with contact-free infrared temperature scanners, which allow each restaurant to check every employee's' temperature before they start their shift. Contactless delivery has been launched and 13 million face masks will be distributed to team members across the U.S., according to a press release published by QSR Magazine.

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Counter shields are being installed in stores to provide a physical barrier while extender payment pads are being added to drive-thrus to “limit contact between customers and employees."

Yum! Brands’ chain Taco Bell is offering contactless service and payment, in addition to mandatory glove-wearing for all employees, sealed orders, enhanced sanitization standards, a dedicated cleaning role, extra sanitization options for customers and employee temperature checks. More details about Taco Bell's "7 Enhanced Safety Steps" can be read in the company's April 9 news release.

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This article has been updated with commentary from Taco Bell and a correction for KFC, which is only offering contactless delivery. Contactless curbside pickup is not available at the chicken restaurant at this time.