At Pizza Hut, our culture reflects our values, the essence of what we believe in as a people and as a system. It includes a shared vision of who we are and where we're headed. And it encompasses everything from the way we treat our customers to how we deal with our competitors.
One of the most important values within the Pizza Hut culture is integrity. Our people are committed to providing uncompromising product quality, to offering consumers the highest quality for their money, and to providing service that is personal and concerned. In fact, our people strive each day to provide what we call "customer mania," the kind of service that will make customers tell stories to their family and friends about their experience with Pizza Hut.
Our commitment to integrity also extends to the role we play nationally and locally in the many communities we serve. On a national level, we've created the BOOK IT!® National Reading Incentive Program. The goal of BOOK IT!®is to instill a life-long love of reading in children. This unique program, which awards a complimentary Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza® and special recognition to elementary school children who achieve set reading goals, has received national accolades from educators and government officials across the country. In fact, former U.S. Secretary of Education Riley cited BOOK IT!®as the model for corporate/education partnership. Today, more than 50,000 public, private and parochial schools use BOOK IT!®in 800,000 classrooms. More than 22 million children in the U.S. participate in the BOOK IT!®program each year.
Our commitment to integrity is exemplified by how we treat our employees as well. We invest heavily in our people through skills training and management development to help them reach their full potential. We encourage them to think unconventionally, to take prudent risks to achieve results. And we provide an informal environment with open communications to give them the freedom to make contributions on their own initiative.
This is a part of our culture we value highly. We call it "ownership", the feeling that comes from knowing you can affect the company's direction through your expertise, innovative ideas and hard work. And because we give our employees a stake in the company's success, they take on the kinds of challenges people in other businesses only dream of: a group of engineers developing a revolutionary new oven, a restaurant manager devising a way to save the system millions of dollars on food costs, or a marketing team turning a movie tie-in event into the most successful kid's marketing program in our system's history.