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Taco Bell said in Q1, digital sales exceeded 50% of total sales for the first time ever thanks to continued operational improvements.

Yum Brands Inc. reported record digital sales and a decline in revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2024 ended March 31.

The restaurant company owns the fast food brands KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. It also operates several ecommerce ordering, management and marketing systems.

Yum Q1 total revenue declined 3% year over year to $1.60 billion. KFC and Taco Bell system-wide sales each grew 4%, while Pizza Hut sales declined 4%.

“Despite a difficult operating environment, we delivered 6% Core Operating Profit growth demonstrating the resilience of our business model,” CEO David Gibbs said in a written statement. “As expected, same-store sales were pressured this quarter, but we are encouraged by strong 2-year same-store sales growth and positive momentum exiting the quarter.”

Digital sales made up a larger portion of total sales than ever before, exceeding 50% for the first time. 


“Our world-class franchisees, globally iconic brands, and distinctive digital capabilities give me high confidence in our future growth,” Gibbs said.

Yum Q1 digital results

Yum shared updates on several of its restaurant operations platforms.

In Q1, Yum focused on building and acquiring platforms including:

  • Yum Commerce Platform: Omnichannel ordering engine that facilitates ordering across all Yum companies.
  • Poseidon: Cloud-based point-of-sale system that facilitates order management, cash management, and store reporting.
  • Yum Admin Portal: Allows franchisees to manage hours, menus and promotions.
  • Tictuk: Omnichannel ordering and marketing platform that operates across multiple channels.

In Q1, Taco Bell U.S. reached the most extensive deployment of the Yum Commerce and Poseidon platforms, Gibbs said.


Meanwhile, Pizza Hut led the deployment of Dragontail, the artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform for managing the food preparation process from order through delivery. Growing these tools led to digital sales becoming over 50% of orders in 2024, up from just 20% in 2019.

The next phase of growth will be about maximizing the value of these tools using AI.

“We want to deliver more, better, faster, cheaper, and safer technology to our franchise partners,” Gibbs said. “We are advantaged by owning important foundational platforms such as our Poseidon POS system, Yum ecommerce, Dragontail, Super App, and our global data hub, and the impact of these platforms will grow exponentially as we deploy more of them to more stores,” he added. 

Yum currently has around 40 AI initiatives in development across marketing, operations, engineering, and other divisions, he said.


Personnel changes

In Q1, Yum promoted Joe Park to chief digital and technology officer.

Park previously served as chief digital and technology officer at Pizza Hut Global. In the new role, he succeeded Clay Johnson, who became a senior advisor for Yum.

Park joined Yum in 2020 as first chief innovation officer. He then served as chief digital and technology officer for Pizza Hut Global since 2021. His role encompassed ecommerce, restaurant technology and omnichannel customer experiences for Pizza Hut locations across more than 100 countries. He also oversaw the rollout of Dragontail at Pizza Hut.

Yum Brands Inc. earnings

In the first quarter ended March 31, Yum reported:

  • Total revenue declined 3% to $1.60 billion.
  • Same-store sales declined 3%.
  • Digital sales made up more than 50% of total sales.

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