LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today provided an update on the next phase of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working together, we can limit the spread of COVID-19 while offering convenient, affordable food in a low contact environment,” said David Gibbs, CEO Yum! Brands. “But our employees – like millions of others – are worried and our franchisees are under stress. We need to support them so they can be there for our customers. As the situation changes rapidly, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill will keep finding ways to help.”
The next phase of Yum! Brands’ COVID-19 response includes the following:
1. Supporting Impacted Employees
As employees worry about the pandemic’s impact on their lives, Yum! Brands is enhancing the benefits available to them during this difficult time.
Yum! Brands is launching a global medical relief fund to provide financial support for restaurant employees at company and franchise-owned stores who are diagnosed with or who are caring for someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
In U.S. company-owned KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill restaurants, the Company will pay employees who are required to stay at home, or who work at a restaurant that is closed, for their scheduled or regularly scheduled hours during their time away from work. Yum! is actively working with its franchise partners to encourage a similar approach.
2. Keeping Restaurants Open Safely and with Low-Contact Options
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill are focused on making food safely available in a low-contact, convenient way that protects both customers and employees, following local government and public health guidance.
The Company has further strengthened its already stringent hygiene, cleaning and sanitation procedures and has shifted to low-contact options for customers around the world:
- KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill are focused on making food available safely and with low contact through delivery, drive-thru or curbside pick-up, where available, for customers and employees, which is critical in a social distancing environment.
- Pizza Hut is now offering Contactless Delivery in the U.S. and 48 countries internationally, where customers can request online or through Pizza Hut’s mobile app to have their pizza left at the door upon delivery.
- In the U.S., KFC and Taco Bell also offer Contactless Delivery through the Grubhub partnership.
3. Help for Franchise Business Owners
Yum! Brands’ owner-operators, a driving force in the economy, are managing through a period of unprecedented disruption. To this end, the Company established a Global Franchise Health and COVID-19 Support Team to help KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill franchisees navigate business continuity.
In the U.S and internationally, the Company is working with franchisees who need access to more capital and are in good standing to provide assistance, including grace periods for certain near-term payments where necessary. In the U.S., the Company is also allowing franchisees to defer all 2020 capital obligations for remodels and new unit development through the end of the year.
4. Giving Back to Communities
Around the world, Yum! and its brands are working to serve front-line workers, families and communities impacted by COVID-19. In the U.S. and internationally, the Yum! Foundation is providing financial support to more than 20 food banks.
Highlights in the U.S. include:
- KFC is donating to its existing charity partner, Blessings in a Backpack, to help feed 100,000 children affected by mandatory school closures across the U.S. The brand is also delivering buckets of chicken to healthcare workers and hospitals in its hometown. More information is here.
- Pizza Hut is providing pizzas to front-line healthcare workers and essential personnel. With partner First Book, Pizza Hut is providing books to families in need and kids at home through its longstanding BOOK IT! program. More information is here.
- Taco Bell is deploying its Taco Truck to feed front-line healthcare workers and other essential personnel and donating to local food banks. The brand’s latest measures can be viewed here.
- The Habit Burger Grill is providing free meals to the medical community, first responders and volunteers through its food trucks and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell – global leaders of the global leaders of the chicken, pizza, and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over nine new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.
This Current Report on Form 8-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We intend all forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and by the use of forward-looking words such as “expect,” “believe,” “estimate,” “will,” “continue,” or similar terminology. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These statements are based on and reflect our current expectations as well as other factors that we believe are appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances. Forward-looking statements are neither predictions nor guarantees of future events, circumstances or performance and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by those statements. There can be no assurance that our expectations will prove to be correct. Numerous factors could cause our actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: food safety and food borne-illness issues; health concerns arising from outbreaks of viruses or other diseases; the success of our franchisees and licensees; the success of our transformation initiatives, including our refranchising strategy; our significant exposure to the Chinese market; changes in economic and political conditions in countries and territories outside of the U.S. where we operate; our ability to protect the integrity and security of individually identifiable data of our customers and employees; our ability to successfully implement technology initiatives; our increasing dependence on digital commerce platforms and information technology systems; the impact of social media; our ability to secure and maintain distribution and adequate supply to our restaurants; the success of our development strategy in emerging markets; changes in commodity, labor and other operating costs; pending or future litigation and legal claims or proceedings; changes in or noncompliance with government regulations, including labor standards and anti-bribery or anti-corruption laws; tax matters, including changes in tax laws or disagreements with taxing authorities; consumer preferences and perceptions of our brands; changes in consumer discretionary spending and general economic conditions; competition within the retail food industry; and risks relating to our significant amount of indebtedness. In addition, other risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could affect the accuracy of any such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. The forward-looking statements included in this Current Report on Form 8-K are only made as of the date of this report and we disclaim any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the information set forth under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K.