Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed, who ran Taco Bell for eight years, told CNBC on Wednesday that the Tex-Mex food chain remains a bright spot for the restaurant giant, but Pizza Hut needs to do a lot of work.
"Taco Bell is doing well. We had a great quarter ... [and] five years of really good same store sales growth," Creed said on "Squawk Box," a day after a series of investor day announcements, including a goal of being 98 percent franchised by the end of 2018.
Taco Bell has no plans to change to be more like Chipotle, Creed said. "They're very different brands," he explained, adding Taco Bell has not necessarily benefited from the food safety scares at Chipotle.
"We're going to do almost $10 billion in sales at Taco Bell in the U.S.," Creed said. "Half the U.S. population eats Taco Bell once a month. The average people comes every 11 days." The population of the United States is nearly 320 million
"Breakfast has been a really big win for us [at Taco Bell]," Creed said. "We had 14 percent transaction growth in breakfast in the last quarter."
At Yum, which also owns KFC, Pizza Hut needs a major overhaul. "Of the three brands, it's the one we've got the most to do," Creed said.
"We've got to make [Pizza Hut] more relevant and distinctive," he added, stressing the importance of putting in place tech improvements to make it easier to get pizzas to consumers. "People want easier and better."
Rival Domino's Pizza has done a much "better job of technology and we need to catch up," he said. "[But] we are still the global leader in pizza. We have 16,000 restaurants and $12 billion in sales."
"The proof is, we turned around our KFC U.S. business, which two years ago everyone had written off," Creed said. "We can do the same for Pizza Hut. I think it's a real growth story."
Shares of Yum Brands were up about 20 percent so far this year, as of Tuesday's close.