Yum! Brands Acquires Online Ordering Platform Tictuk

The Israel-based platform specializes in integrating customer service and ordering with social media messaging.

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Need to Know 

  • Yum! Brands, the parent company of popular chains Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, has announced the acquisition of Tictuk Technologies.
  • Tictuk is an Israel-based tech startup that specializes in social media integration with customer service and ordering.
  • Tictuk will allow Yum! chains to easily integrate online ordering through social media channels such as Messenger.
  • After a record-breaking 2020, reaching $17 billion in digital sales, the acquisition is the latest move in Yum! Brands digital evolution 

Analysis 

Yum! Brands has announced the acquisition of the omnichannel ordering and marketing platform, Tictuk Technologies. The acquisition is intended to support Yum! subsidiary brands (which include iconic brands Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC) in reaching more customers globally and accelerate the brands’ digital innovation strategy. 

Tictuk is an Israel-based company that specializes in “conversational commerce,” leaning on social media and other chat platforms to engage with customers. The platform also uses QR codes, SMS messaging, and email. This means customers can actually order their food using their favorite social media platform. 

Tictuk technology integrates with point-of-sale and other payment platforms and applies to all kinds of customer experiences, including delivery, curbside pickup, and in-store dining. 

“By developing an ecosystem that synergizes ordering technology with performance marketing and analytics, we are empowering brands to better serve customers and increase sales,” explained Tictuk founder and CEO Tomer Ben-Ezra.

After a record-breaking year, in which digital sales hit $17 billion, and after testing the platform in over 900 restaurants, the acquisition comes as part of Yum!’s evolving digital strategy. 

“As we navigate a consumer landscape reshaped by the events of 2020, we continue to intensify our focus on leveraging our scale and reinforcing our growth model with investments in digital and technologies to enhance the customer and employee experience, strengthen restaurant unit economics and enable our brands and franchisees to compete and win in a rapidly changing world,” said Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs. 

Yum! this year also acquired Kvantum, an AI platform that “develops algorithms and AI models that help brands understand consumer behavior and measure the effects of marketing tactics.” 

Taco Bell itself has implemented a number of digital initiatives in the past year. The popular chain is rolling out its “Go Mobile” concept, aiming to open 10,000 digital-first restaurants globally by 2030. In the meantime, Taco Bell is updating existing locations with new-and-improved order-ahead kiosks and digital menu boards and has also updated its app with enhanced AI personalization.

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