In conjunction with BBDO, Ethnographic Solutions conducted an ethnographic study of pizza consumers and various Pizza Hut employees. The project involved extensive in-home ethnographic interviews with mothers, their husbands, and their children. Each interview was videotaped and involved a participant observation event–ordering a pizza for home delivery in which the ethnographer joined the family in eating the pizza. The consumer ethnography project component’s principal objectives included:

  • Identify how mothers or others make decisions about various family meals (dinner, lunch, weekdays vs. weekends)
  • Expose the distinct social function that pizza plays in consumers’ everyday lives
  • Evaluate consumers perceptions of:
  • Pizza Hut pizza in relation to other types of pizza and pizza restaurants
  • The Pizza Hut brand, particularly in relation to competing corporate pizza brands
  • Draw out consumers’ ideas about their encounters with different pizza firms’ employees
  • The ethnography component in Pizza Hut stores involved in-store interviews with Pizza Hut general managers, shift managers, customer service representatives, as well as ride-along trips with Pizza Hut drivers in which the ethnographer informally interviewed and observed the drivers as they delivered their pizza orders. The main objectives of this research component were to understand more effectively how Pizza Hut employees:

    • Handle, assess, and develop relationships with Pizza Hut customers with an analytic emphasis on what occurs at the various sites of interaction with their customers
    • Interpret the local relevance and success of top-down Pizza Hut corporate policies and marketing approaches in their own Pizza Hut stores and with their own customers
    • Think about the Pizza Hut brand, particularly its distinctive strengths

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