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.

 
 

Pie Five Pizza: Delivering a Loyal Customer Base for Each New Franchise Opening

As a franchise organization, Pie Five Pizza tries to help each new location hit the ground running by delivering a ready-made stream of loyal customers.  Before each new restaurant opens in a market, Pie Five leverages its Circle of Crust rewards program to generate a lot of buzz around the area. 

“The Free Pizza for a Year promotion is a fast, cost-effective way to drive new Circle of Crust registrations that specifically support each new store opening,” said Christina Coy, Vice President of Marketing for Pie Five Pizza Co. “This gives each new Pie Five location an immediate marketing base of loyal customers who are already engaging with our brand.”

 

The OrganizationPie Five Logo

Dallas-based Pie Five Pizza Co. is a subsidiary of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAVE), which owns,
franchises and supplies more than 300 Pie Five and Pizza Inn restaurants operating domestically and internationally. The leading brand in the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza space, Pie Five Pizza Co. offers individual handcrafted pizzas with fresh ingredients made to order in less than five minutes. The popular franchise organization has over 80 locations in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

In August 2013, when they had just 11 locations, Pie Five Pizza replaced its email and paper-based VIP punch programs with a new digital program that would deliver a better customer experience for its target millennial audience. The Pie Five Pizza Circle of Crust guest appreciation program, which is built on the Paytronix Rewards Platform allows the fast-growing pizza chain to gathers guest data and integrates it with its messaging program and POS system.

The Circle of Crust core program rewards frequent guests with points for each purchase. When a guest accrues 20 points, they can redeem the points for a free pizza or large salad. Each member receives advance notification of new products and special offers.  Through an extra layer to the program, members receive a free pizza or large salad to celebrate their half birthday.

The Pie Five Pizza Circle of Crust program has more than 500,000 members and had over 90% growth in same-store membership in 2015 over the prior year. 

The Challenge

As a franchise organization, Pie Five Pizza tries to help each new location hit the ground running by delivering a ready-made stream of loyal customers.  Before implementing the Circle of Crust, Pie Five had run sweepstakes to get potential new customers to join its email program.  With Circle of Crust up and running, the Pie Five marketing department decided to fold these sweepstakes into the new loyalty program.

The Solution Before each new restaurant opens in a market, Pie Five works hard to generate a lot of buzz around the area. For a five-week period, starting a few weeks before the new location actually opens, Pie Five targets the new restaurant’s geography with Facebook ads and uses a third-party-developed registration site to acquire essential marketing information from new guests.  New members who register with the Circle of Crust program through this site sign up for a chance to win “Free Pizza for A Year.”

The third-party registration site uses the Paytronix API as a registration tool.  This gives Pie Five the ability to search through guests separately and pick a big winner for the Free Pizza for A Year prize.  The Free Pizza for a Year campaign uses a special tier and the Paytronix Campaign Center to award the winners free pizza every month for the duration of the prize. 

“Using a shorter version of the Paytronix registration, our Circle of Crust Free Pizza for a Year promotion uses geographically targeted advertising on social media to attract new members,” said Christina Coy, vice president of Marketing for Pie Five Pizza Co. “Once the new members are registered, we use the Paytronix reporting functions to determine who is coming in from the new site.  On average this promotion attracts between 600 to 1000 new Circle of Crust members in support of each new Pie Five store opening.”

The Benefit The impact of the Circle of Crust’s new member recruitment program is measured by the number of guests who join and associate with a new store right from the beginning.  On average, after the five-week period, Pie Five sees 600 to 1000 members join for each new location opened.  This gives new locations an immediate marketing base in new communities and drives business.  By utilizing the Free Pizza for a Year campaign tier, Pie Five also has the ability to look at prize redemption and incremental spend and visit frequency from those guests.

“The Free Pizza for a Year promotion is a fast, cost-effective way to drive new Circle of Crust registrations that specifically support each new franchise store opening,” said Christina Coy. “This gives the new Pie Five Pizza franchisee an immediate marketing base of loyal customers who tend to be repeat visitors and come back often.”

A centrally-managed, turnkey marketing program, Circle of Crust helps the franchisees differentiate their stores from other pizza chains and to drive traffic.  All they have to do is keep their employees motivated to ask guests for their member ID and redeem rewards at the POS.