Pizza Hut Paper Icon Program for the World Food Program

Pizza Hut is currently raising funds for the UN's World Food Program using the paper icon at the left, a mobile phone text fundraising effort, and celebrity support from songstress Christina Augilera. The campaign called From Hunger to Hope also invites direct support through the campaign website.

From Hunger to Hope comes from Yum Brands, franchisor of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, and A&W, and the campaign crosses all of its restaurants. In 2009 the effort generated $22.5 million for the WFP and other hunger agencies, which translated into 90 million meals.

Twenty-two million dollars is a laudable, even herculean effort. But consider that Yum operates 37,000 locations. Some locations will do more and some will do much less, but to raise $22.5 million each store needs to average $608.

With so many locations, a modest improvement in per store fundraising translates to huge numbers in the collective total. For instance, if per store fundraising goes up to $650 per store on average, Yum raises $24 million for the World Food Program.

In short, incremental improvements to the campaign make a big difference.

Here’s one improvement to the paper icon itself that Yum could easily and inexpensively implement right away. When I picked up a pizza yesterday on the way home, I saw the icons, and the counter cards with Aguilera’s face on it and asked the man behind the counter what it was all about.

The man… a shift manager… seemed slightly flummoxed by the question. He walked over to one of the paper icons, read World Food Program and replied that it was to "help provide food."

With 37,000 locations and probably 5-10 times that many store and regional managers, I’m not surprised this fellow didn’t get the message. But Yum could have made it easy on him by printing on the back of the icon a 12-15 word explanation of the campaign.

Currently the back of the World Food Program icon is blank.

The 15-word sentence should be followed by a 25-word sentence that explains how every dollar to the World Food Program feeds four children.

That manager could have read the first sentence to me or he could have just handed it to me to read for myself. There’s a price for printing on the reverse side, of course, but if Yum is printing these by the millions, that cost is nominal.

If this one simple measure helped Yum staff sell just 24 more paper icons per store, the Yum system generates $1 million more for the World Food Program and 4 million more kids get a meal.

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