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Grotto Pizza Increases Off-peak Dining With Loyalty Program

Grotto Pizza has leveraged the Paytronix Rewards Platform to successfully implement a multi-tiered loyalty program that enables the family casual dining group to reward year-round diners without heavily discounting seasonal guests. In particular, the “Winter Wednesday” promotion has enabled Grotto Pizza to increase off-season traffic on what was its slowest day of the week by 84%.
Grotto Pizza has been a mainstay of Delaware’s beaches since Dominick Pulieri opened the first restaurant in 1960, expanding inland over the years with locations now spanning Delaware Pennsylvania and Maryland. Grotto faced a challenge that impacts many restaurants—with many of its locations right on the beach, business is seasonal, with the summer months drawing big crowds while guest visits taper off in the winter.
Two years ago, Grotto Pizza migrated its Swirl Rewards Club gift, loyalty and email marketing program to the Paytronix Rewards Platform in order to create a better way to drive guest traffic during off-peak winter hours, and to increase traffic on weekday evenings. Today more than  48% of all Grotto Pizza guests are registered members of the loyalty program, and 86% of those guests have opted in for email communications.   The Swirl Rewards Club has proven a model of success, with a high rate of engagement that is well above the 15 percent penetration needed to make an impact.
With a strong loyalty program in place, Grotto Pizza then was able to tackle its goal of ramping up business during the winter months. The “Winter Wednesdays” promotion offered members 50% off premium items after 4pm on Wednesdays, which are traditionally the chain’s lightest traffic days in the winter. Grotto loaded the discounts directly onto guests’ loyalty cards, then used Paytronix messaging to get the offer out to guests. All they had to do was come in before the offer expired at the end of the day. In just one month, the initiative enabled Grotto to:
·         Increase traffic 84% on Winter Wednesdays with these one-day offers
·         Drive a 65% increase in loyalty guest spending
·         Generate loyalty checks that even net of the discount were 10% larger on average
While Grotto Pizza’s Winter Wednesday campaign was clearly successful as an effort to boost traffic during slower times, it also had an unexpected impact as enrollment in Grotto’s loyalty program tripled after the first four weeks of the promotion.
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