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Newton, MA April 28, 2015
Grotto Pizza Increases Off-peak Dining With Paytronix-driven Loyalty Program

‘Winter Wednesday’ promotion boosts traffic by 84% during off-peak winter season

Paytronix Systems, Inc., a leading provider of reward program solutions to restaurants and retailers, today announced that 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.

“We saw an opportunity to use our Paytronix-powered loyalty program as a way to discount our loyal guests without leaving dollars on the table from people who would stop in only once and who would buy a pizza regardless,” said Vinnie DiNatale, Director of Marketing at Grotto Pizza Inc. “We’re grateful that our customers are loyal, choosing to dine with Grotto Pizza, so we show our loyalty in return by providing the best offers and experience possible, and Paytronix makes it easy to do just that.”

About Grotto Pizza Inc.
Grotto Pizza, Inc. first opened in 1960 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware by owner Dominick Pulieri. Since then Grotto Pizza has grown to 21 locations throughout Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Still a family owned business, Grotto Pizza is a family casual dining restaurant that specializes in award winning pizza and hospitality. The full menu includes pizza, pasta, sandwiches, subs, appetizers, salads, beer, wine, cocktails and Grotto Gelato. Dominick Pulieri is involved in day-to-day operations and preaching the company culture that it is All About the Guest!  To learn more about Grotto Pizza visit

Insights to boost your gift card sales
Annual Gift Card Sales Report: 2019

Designed to identify the latest trends in restaurant gift card sales and help restaurant marketing executives compare results to others in the industry, use trends for planning inventory, and gain insight into how channel sales contribute to the growth of gift card sales programs, the Paytronix Gift Card Sales Report analyzed more than 190 restaurant brands and 550 stored value program data.