The Loyaltees Awards highlight leading and innovative brands in the restaurant and retail industries. When it comes to incredible guest engagement strategies, this year's winners set a new standard of excellence.


Duffy’s Sports Grill – Big Game Giveaway

Most Relevant Messaging – Duffy’s Sports Grill “Big Game Giveaway” was designed to keep fans coming in to the Florida-based sports bar throughout the NFL season – whether or not the guests’ favorite teams were winning or losing.

“The Big Game Giveaway provided another reason for Duffy’s guests to engage, and they responded. Paytronix Real-Time Messaging enabled us to stimulate desired behavior. As a result, Duffy’s saw a big lift in traffic and sales,” said Sandy Nelson, Director of Marketing, Duffy’s Sports Grill.  


The Organization Duffy’s Sports Grill, based in Lake Worth, Florida operates 27 full-service, casual-dining restaurants, all of which are located in Florida. Established in 1985, the company has become a regional market leader known for top quality casual dining with an emphasis on freshly prepared ingredients and grilled items. Duffy’s boasts a distinctly upscale sports environment complete with all the satellite programming available, over 75 TVs per location, and framed authentic sports memorabilia throughout each restaurant. Duffys - Slider 2

Duffy’s MVP Rewards Program

A Paytronix customer since 2010, Duffy’s runs a highly successful MVP rewards program that has more than 425,000 active members who drive 70% of the transactions across its 27 casual-dining restaurants in Southern Florida. 

The Duffy’s MVP loyalty program segments guests based on behavior into three spending tiers: MVP, Gold, All Star, and Hall of Fame. With check-level data and other metrics provided by Paytronix’s POS integrated solution, Duffy’s is able to strategically design messaging, offers and promotions tailored to each tier’s behavior.

In early 2014, Duffy’s deployed Paytronix Real-Time Behavior-Triggered Messaging, which enables them to quickly communicate with guests on limited time offers, new-menu-item surveys, and distance to the next reward, and remind guests of rewards  earned as well as expiration dates. 

The Challenge With Duffy’s being a sports-themed concept, football season is a busy time however the business can fluctuate based on team performance and even broadcast schedules.  Over the course of an entire season, depending on the individual performance of each team, some fans may visit more while others may give up on their team.

The marketing team devised a plan that would keep fans coming in again and again throughout the season regardless of the win-loss record of their favorite team. 

The Solution The Duffy's Big Game Giveaway promotion took place this past fall during the regular NFL season. The Sweepstakes grand prize was a trip for two to the 2015 Super Bowl, including roundtrip airfare, three nights’ hotel, transportation to and from the game, and more. The winner was drawn on 12/29/2014.

Leveraging its new messaging capabilities, Duffy’s invited MVP members to visit on Sundays and use their loyalty card to earn bonus credits. The overall objectives were to increase the number of guest visits, increase repeat guest visits, and increase guest spend per visit.

The Guest Experience:

There were two ways that a guest could earn credits:

1. Visit Duffy’s during a Sunday NFL game to receive one Visit Credit; after four Visit Credits were earned, the guest earned one entry into the grand prize sweepstakes.

2. Visit Duffy’s during a Sunday NFL game and spend at least $10 to receive one Bonus Credit; after four Bonus Credits were earned, the guest was given $50 bonus dollars on their loyalty account.

Messaging-driven promotion: The initial sweepstakes announcement went out to all of Duffy’s 425,000 MVP program members. After the first visit, members were encouraged to come back with a message stating, “You’re on your way.” After three visits, a “You’re almost there!” message was sent. After four visits, “Congratulations! You’ve earned a $50 bonus!” went out.

Reminder emails: Duffy’s also sent out emails throughout the promotion to encourage members who had not come in at all. Midway through the promotion, the reminder “There’s still time to win” went out. Before the last four games of the season, a “Last chance to qualify” email was sent.

The Benefit: In 2013, Duffy’s had 10 members visit for all 17 regular Sunday NFL games, and 25 visited for 16 games. In contrast, in 2014, there were 127 members who visited for all 17 regular Sunday NFL games, and 148 members visited for 16 games.  Sales increased 7.5% over the previous year.

“2014 was our first football season with the Paytronix email capabilities. We couldn’t do this easily before because the data was in different places. Paytronix gives us the critical ability to integrate MVP data with check-level detail so we can message in real time based on guest behavior. We just could not message to guests in real time in the past.”

“Although we are busy for football season, business can be heavily influenced by team performance, and if the hometown favorite has a losing season, visits can drop off.  The Big Game Giveaway provided another reason for Duffy’s guests to engage, and they responded. Paytronix Real-Time Messaging enabled us to stimulate desired behavior. As a result, Duffy’s saw a big lift in traffic and sales.”  Sandy Nelson, Director of Marketing, Duffy’s Sports Grill.