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03/24/2021

Yum! Brands adds marketing platform to growing tech portfolio

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A global quick-service restaurant conglomerate is taking another step toward becoming a technology platform.

Yum! Brands Inc. has acquired Tictuk Technologies, an Israeli omnichannel ordering and marketing solutions provider. By adding Tictuk to its technology portfolio, Yum intends to offer more ways for consumers to have access to and order its KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill brands via social media and conversational platforms. 

This agreement marks at least the third major technology acquisition Yum! Brands has entered in the past 12 months. Earlier in March 2021, the company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire artificial intelligence (AI)-based consumer insights and marketing performance analytics technology provider Kvantum Inc., in order to drive calendar and marketing spend optimization. https://chainstoreage.com/yum-brands-beefs-ai-efforts-acquisition

And in March 2020, Yum! purchased Heartstyles https://chainstoreage.com/yum-brands-acquires-omnichannel-training-platform, which offers an AI-based omnichannel leadership development program. In 2020, Yum! Brands’ digital sales hit a record of $17 billion, about a 45% increase over the prior year. Yum! says it will continue to accelerate its digital commerce strategy through data and advanced analytics and innovative emerging technologies to unlock new sources of global growth.

Founded in 2016, Tictuk is a privately-held company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, that specializes in conversational commerce, a technology solution that allows users to complete orders and interact with brands through a variety of social media and chat channels that include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS, QR codes, and email. 

Tictuk’s online ordering and marketing platform also leverages a hybrid of chat, web, advertisements, and intelligent marketing technology to engage with consumers. The technology seamlessly integrates with POS and existing payment systems and supports all types of customer engagement, including delivery, curbside pick-up and in-restaurant dining.

Yum! Brands has deployed Tictuk’s platform in approximately 900 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in 35 countries outside of the U.S. The company plans to scale and offer Tictuk’s omnichannel ordering and marketing capabilities to more markets and franchisees globally.

“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 David Gibbs, CEO, Yum! Brands.

The Tictuk business unit, as part of Yum! Brands, will continue to offer its platform to existing clients. Yum! Brands’ acquisition of Tictuk is complete.

Based in Louisville, Ky., Yum! Brands has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, primarily operating the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill.