Rocky’s patrons fill ‘Belly,’ gain reward points
Belly, a new app-based rewards program, offers students a variety of free foodstuffs as an incentive for their patronage of Rocky’s Grill. (Photo by Jamie Greene, an emerging technology and communication major from Moon Township.)
March 4, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Students at Slippery Rock University can now get more than great food when they visit Rocky's Grill in the Smith Student Center. Thanks to a new app - Belly - each visit can earn the user reward points that can be redeemed for a variety of items.
Belly, an app-based loyalty program, enables students to accrue points toward free food at Rocky's and other campus venues. The app, which AVI Foodsystems rolled out three weeks ago, works via a swipe card.
"I used Belly today for the first time. I think the concept of it is great," said Rebecca Cannizzaro, an exercise science major from Collegeville. "This is good for college students because, for one, we are broke, and when were are able to get the chance to win free stuff through the money we are spending here on campus, that is awesome."
Currently, Rocky's is the only location in which Belly users can tap their way to culinary freebies. However, the rewards can be redeemed at various eateries across campus - students can have their cake and eat it too. Sample rewards include a cupcake party, free drinks at Starbucks, wings from Quaker Steak & Lube and a "date night" meal pass for two at Boozel Dining Hall.
You could even win a chance to build and name your own sub at Boulders.
AVI is marketing the program by encouraging users to, , "Gain rewards by filling your belly!"
Cannizzaro said she eats at Rocky's twice a week. "I would say Rocky's is the 'in place' to go on campus," she said. "I have actually seen a ton of people using Belly, and I can imagine it will just continue to grow."
Logan Steigerwalt, a marketing major from Northampton and president of Student Government Association, said he dines at Rocky's five times a week and has accumulated 70 reward points using Belly.
Although 40 points will get you a free drink, Steigerwalt said, "I think I'm going to save up for some mac and cheese."
While Belly hasn't appeared on many newsfeeds yet, Steigerwalt said he expects it to soar in popularity like the Mexican food station in Rocky's. "I think it's pretty sweet," he said.
Two Chicago businessmen, Logan LaHive and Craig Ulliott, launched Belly in 2011. The rewards program aims to retain and then increase business at least 25 percent.
"The general purpose of the Belly program is to create excitement through an array of rewards," said Joe Balaban, resident director for AVI Foodsystems at SRU. "The test pilot location of Rocky's was chosen due to the volume of guests on a daily basis. The goal is for Belly to become a popular app and to expand the program to other locations on campus."
To use Belly, all students need to do is scan their Belly card at the iPad location in Rocky's and enter his or her email. The card can be placed on a key chain and linked to a cell phone or tablet.
Balaban said there is no limit on the number or rewards given out, and students can carryover rewards from semester to semester.
Every time a student buys food at Rocky's, he or she scans their Belly card or phone to receive reward points, Balaban said. So far, more than 500 students have signed up.
"The point system works in increments of five. Every time you check in, you will receive five points. If you are a first-time member, you will automatically receive 15 points. If you like us on Facebook, you will receive another five points. That's how easy it is," he said.
Kristen Swain, an exercise science major from Erie, said she signed up for Belly last week and used it for the first time Tuesday.
She expects more students to belly up to a Belly app, too.
"I think students will take advantage of this because there are rewards, or free stuff that you can get just by going to where you normally eat," she said. "I think students will use Belly more as it gets more known."
Belly rewards are:
• Free 16 oz fountain drink with any purchase at Weisenfluh
• Soup or dessert at Rocky's
• Side of macaroni and cheese at Elia
• Buy one, get one slice of pizza at Rocky's
• Free Starbucks (up to $3.95)
• Bucket of tenders and fries at Rocky's
• Single order of wings at Quaker Steak
• All you can eat cheese pizza for an hour
• Two meals swipes at Boozel Dining Hall
• Cupcake decorating party for up to 10 friends
• Build and name your own sub at Boulders
• Arm-wrestle Jake (Rocky's manager) for a pizza party with four friends
• Catering event for 10 friends
• Dinner for two prepared by an executive chef
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