Ramadan Campaign Puts Pizza Hut On Back Foot
The Ramadan campaign has, once again, put another company on the back foot, just like it happened with the Whole Foods stores last year. When Pizza Hut Pakistan decided to tone down its popular Ramadan offer, it sparked outrage among Pakistanis. The offer was about an all-you-can-eat deal and had been in place for many years now. It allowed a customer to eat unlimited pizzas for just seven pounds. People were outraged that the pizza chain changed the deal to prevent "unrestrained gluttony" during the holy month.
The Ramadan Offer
The seven pound deal offered the families to break their day-long fast during Ramadan. Muslims break their daily fast during this month in an evening meal called Iftar. After the deal was on, Pizza Hut restaurants in Pakistan were often seen packed with families gathering for their Iftar meal.
Deal is Changed
Outrage broke out in the country and on social networking sites when Pizza Hut made the deal cheaper and limited it to single pizza but still continued with its "all-you-can-eat" tagline. One of the managers of the Pizza Hut franchise explained, "The former all-you-can-eat format served as an unrestrained invitation to gluttony and waste, colliding with the very spirit of Ramadan. For those who do not consider Iftar deal as a means of just gorging after sunset, then the new Ramadan Fiesta offered by Pizza Hut is a well-balanced and valuable deal to enjoy finest pizza at a value price." While withdrawing the previous offer, the company said, "It's tragic that so much food is wasted during Iftar every year. We are now working with the community to minimize food wastage."
The Ramadan offer had become so popular across Pakistan that when the chain toned it down to a single regular pizza, salad and a Pepsi, instead of pizza after pizza, diners took to social networking sites to register their complaints. One such hurt customer wrote on Pizza Hut's Facebook page, "Pathetic and a misleading deal. It's only one regular pizza with bottomless Pepsi, not all you can eat." Another one commented, "It's saddening to see that this year your guys have introduced an "All you can Drink Pepsi with a small Regular Pizza."" Another FB post was quite explicit, "Ur Ramazan deal's pizza sucks seriously ... experienced it today (sic)."
The Iftar meal at Pizza Hut had actually become a popular hangout occasion for families in Pakistan, who had made it a tradition to break their day-long fast at Pizza Hut eating all that they could. The offer was the reason why, during Ramadan, when most Muslims abstain from gluttony, the 44 Pizza Hut outlets could be seen packed with fast food hungry families, eager to break their fast with their favorite pizza, instead of the traditional meal made with chickpeas and dates.
This Ramadan offer has sure created quite a ruckus in Pakistan, for all the wrong reasons. People love it but Pizza Hut is not ready to give them what they want. Do you think that is right?