Dominick Pulieri co-founded Grotto Pizza in 1960 when he was just 17 years old. Today, the company boasts nearly 20 locations.
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NASCAR promos, football contests and a high-powered loyalty program drive traffic to Grotto Pizza. By Liz Barrett. Photos provided by Grotto Pizza
rotto Pizza may have opened in 1960, but it’s not resting on its laurels when it comes to marketing. Weekly specials, big-time giveaways, a high-tech loyalty program and two mobile kitchens keep Grotto’s director of marketing Vinnie DiNatale busy. With 21 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, DiNatale has been handling the marketing for 18 stores located in Delaware and Maryland since January 2012. “I started as a server at Grotto when I was in college getting my marketing degree,” says DiNatale. “I was the marketing manager at Grotto for three years and then left to explore different restaurant groups in Philadelphia and New Jersey in between my time as marketing manager and director of marketing at Grotto.” PMQ sat down with DiNatale to find out what it takes to juggle marketing for multiple stores while still staying personally connected to customers. 28
PMQ Pizza Magazine The Pizza Industry’s Business Monthly
PMQ: WHAT IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROMOTION YOU'RE CURRENTLY RUNNING? DiNatale: I think it’s our loyalty program, the Swirl Rewards Club. It’s something that’s ongoing. Using the loyalty program, it’s much easier to measure the results and see not only how well the program is doing overall, but also different aspects of the program. For example, for our birthday rewards program, we offer a free junior pizza on your birthday that’s good for 14 days. So it goes out on the Monday of your birthday week. I can go in through Paytronix, and I can see those people who received it two weeks before and two weeks after and see the lift in business—more visits and more spend. You can see their buying behavior before the email and after the email. It’s a really nice tool to be able to ask, “What are we doing, and is it working?”