No One Out Pizzas the Hut: Flynn Restaurant Group Acquires Pizza Hut Australia - MarCom Awards


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No One Out Pizzas the Hut: Flynn Restaurant Group Acquires Pizza Hut Australia

If you’ve ever been to an Applebee’s®, Taco Bell®, Panera®, Arby’s®, Wendy’s® or Pizza Hut® in the United States, it’s likely that it was one under the umbrella of Flynn Restaurant Group. Holding the title of the world’s largest franchise operator, Flynn Restaurant Group operates over 2,400 quick service, fast casual, and casual dining restaurants, generating $4.2 billion in sales and employing 73,000 people.

In June of 2023, Flynn Restaurant Group was getting ready to make its first international investment, one which would give the franchise operator the opportunity to spread its domestic roots in the Land Down Under and further strengthen its influence in the world of pizza. As the agency of record for Flynn Restaurant Group, BML immediately went to work, developing a strategy to help announce their acquisition of Pizza Hut Australia.

One of most significant moves since Flynn Restaurant Group was founded in 1999, this was an investment that needed to command significant attention. With that said, the goals for the strategy were to not just to generate significant media coverage, but impactful coverage. BML was challenged to secure mainstream, influential business coverage while simultaneously saturating trade media outlets with the news, ensuring that Flynn Restaurant Group’s stature and presence was elevated, especially within the restaurant, franchise and global business communities.

Strategy and Tactics:
Knowing that most major business media outlets require advanced notice and an exclusive, BML presented Flynn Restaurant Group with several potential targets to engage, elevating Bloomberg considering its international reach and broadcast programming, with specific TV shows targeting the Australia market, and of course radio, which could drastically expand reach. The approach presented was a triple exclusive, offering Bloomberg the opportunity to break the news online and then granting them the broadcast exclusive with Flynn Restaurant Group’s CEO and founder, Greg Flynn, for both TV and radio.

Under embargo, BML targeted restaurant industry reporter, Daniela Sitori-Cortina while simultaneously engaging the producers for Bloomberg’s Daybreak Australia and Bloomberg Radio. Following the breaking of the news about Fynn Restaurant Group’s acquisition of Pizza Hut Australia, BML immediately distributed the corresponding press release and coordinated virtual deskside interviews with Greg Flynn, offering trade and industry-specific writers and editors the opportunity to ask specific questions and dive deeper into the strategy surrounding the franchise operator’s international expansion.

BML’s triple exclusive strategy proved to be a success. From a numbers perspective, because of the combined outreach, BML’s approach reached an audience of nearly 500 million. This included 230 placements across TV, radio, print and online. Bloomberg’s Daybreak Australia hosted Greg Flynn for over seven minutes, discussing his company’s acquisition of Pizza Hut Australia, but also the state of the fast-casual and quick-service restaurant industries, covering off on topics ranging from labor shortages, technology deployment and increasing cost challenges facing operators. Greg Flynn was also interviewed by Bloomberg Radio correspondent, Lisa Mateo, who used the discussion for a Bloomberg Radio Money Minute, which was fed to more than 200 radio stations across the country. Lastly, with major trade outlets, including the likes of Franchise Times, QSR, Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Business Magazine, and a cover story in San Francisco Business Times, BML ensured the news struck the right chords with the audiences that mattered most.