Pizza Hut Takes Gamification to the Next Level!

06 Jun 2017 12:12 PM | Ruchika Setia

By Dee Dick

Always interested in learning about best practices in talent development, I caught up with Amy Gingerich, Sr. Manager of Training and Development at Pizza Hut, to talk about their AXIS award-winning program, The Launch Pad.

Q: What about gamification appealed to your team?

A: “Our team loves gamification!” Pizza Hut found that out by building just one course in a gamified version, with collecting elements like smiles representing customer satisfaction and hearts representing brand love as rewards for correct answers. With 50,000 responses to the course reaction survey, 94% say they enjoy the game-like interaction, and those numbers continue to prove out as the course reaches three years in production.

Q: How did your team get buy-in from the organization to make the investment?

A: “First, Pizza Hut is a learning organization. We wanted to make sure Team Members could get to their training quickly and easily. So the idea of “hiding” the LMS by having the new rebranded platform reside on top of the LMS became the business case. Pizza Hut demonstrated how the new program validates the skills inside the course, rather than with a test at the end. An unexpected, but welcome, side effect is training time, which was significantly reduced by incorporating skill-building games inside the course.

Q: What was your over-arching process – build then gamify, or build gamified?

A: “Pizza Hut built each course gamified!” First Pizza Hut determined the learning objectives for each course, then worked with its vendor, MLink, to identify the best way to achieve those objectives through game play. One thing Pizza Hut discovered is that some of the courses really required a small “pre-download” that either set some context, or explained some rules for playing.

Q: How did you roll it out?

A: “In waves: that way we could begin replacing old content as soon as possible.” With 150,000 Team Members across the system, Pizza Hut needed to get the training up and running – beginning with Customer Service Representatives, then Delivery Drivers, and lastly Food Production. That method also allowed for an agile approach to development.

Q: What are some key points that you learned about using gamification through this project?

A: Four come to mind immediately:

1. The importance of the pre-download for setting context for the user.

2. Keeping the activity balanced – not too easy or too complex. If it’s too complicated to learn how to play the game, you’re less likely to actually play.

3. Again, around context: set a realistic expectation. Example: Some courses are designed to be “more challenging than others and therefore, require more than one round of game play (sort of like linear games – if you mess up you have to start over). Users are more relaxed when they realize that it’s supposed to be that way.

4. Test! Test! Test! It’s incredibly important to test the games prior to launch to ensure the learners have a seamless learning experience.

Q: What advice would you give to others who are considering adding gaming elements to their learning?

A: Build your strongest business case by figuring out what the real need is and, based on that analysis, build a pilot!

Q: Finally, any other thoughts you’d like to share?

A: Yes! Our relationship with IT is critical!” IT should be your #1 business partner, along with your development team. Be sure all of critical players have a seat at the table.

Curious to hear more? You can learn more about Pizza Hut’s Award Winning initiative on the 2016 AXIS Awards Winners Webpage or at our Chapter Meeting on June  20th


14070 Proton Rd. - Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75244


Phone: 972-233-9107 ex. 224

Fax: 972-490-4219

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