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Columbus’ Pizza Hut taps into beer

January 10, 2019

Columbus residents will be able to get their pizza and beer from the same location without having to leave their home just in time for Super Bowl LIII.

The NFL’s biggest game is set for Feb. 3, but Columbus’ Pizza Hut, 2510 23rd St., has already started delivering beer in addition to pizza and other food orders.

The national chain announced the new service on Monday, but local Restaurant General Manager Mason Kant said the Columbus venue has been delivering beer for the past few months to test out the concept.

“It started in local areas, just to see how it would go,” Kent said. “And now, after they (the company) saw how it went, now they’re starting to advertise it.”

The service first launched in December 2017 in Arizona and has since expanded to other states. Company officials on Monday made a formal announcement that locations in Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio are now offering the service. In Nebraska, beer delivery will only be available at Pizza Hut locations in Columbus, Norfolk, Grand Island and Beatrice.

How it works is a customer can add beer to his or her order when ordering delivery over the phone. The beer comes in 16-ounce bottles. It’s $3 for a two pack and $7.99 for a six. Kent said there is no limit on how much beer a person can order.

Pizza Hut will only deliver Budweiser, Bud Light and Busch Light brand beers. If a person wants Michelob Ultra, Corona, Miller Lite or Coors, they’ll have to buy it in store. A person does not need to order food with a purchase in order for the restaurant to deliver, Kent said. As long as the order meets the $8 minimum delivery requirement, customers can order anything.

“If you want just a six-pack,” Kent said, “you can order that.”

In order to ensure the customer is of legal drinking age, Pizza Hut requires customers to present a valid driver’s license upon delivery. The license information will then be written down by the employee on a form for Pizza Hut’s records.

“If they can’t fill out any part of that, we can’t give it to them,” Kent said.

The restaurant will deliver beer to any residence in Columbus, excluding commercial or retail locations, Kent said.

All participating Pizza Hut locations that feature the service have liquor licenses. Kent said the Pizza Hut in Columbus has been serving beer to customers for some time but had to revamp certain parts of the store and have it inspected by the fire marshal in order to deliver beer.

“Just hoping we get enough sales to pay for that,” Kent said. “It’s pretty hit and miss, honestly. One week, we sell a lot. Next week, not so much. It hasn’t hit that point where it’s steady yet.”

Kim Jedlicka, of Columbus, is a frequent customer of Pizza Hut in town. He said he thinks the new service will become popular in time.

“Yeah, I think it would be nice. Especially if you could just have beer delivered,” Jedlicka said. “So I think that’s a really good thing. I think beer and pizza just go together. So that’ natural.”

To place an order, Pizza Hut can be reached at 402-564-3366.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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