Allie Kepner and Molly Redgate are servers at Grotto Pizza.

Grotto Pizza

Grotto Pizza Rewards Employees for Getting Vaccinated

"We feel it’s our social responsibility to invest in incentivizing our staff to get the COVID-19 shot," said Grotto VP Jeff Gosnear.

  • The 23-store Grotto Pizza chain wants to get prepared for a busy summer season by rewarding employees for getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • UNO Pizzeria & Grill launched a similar initiative in March, while a Rhode Island independent gave away free slices to vaccinated customers in early May.

Grotto Pizza, headquartered in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is leaning into the national effort to get the workforce fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by rewarding all staff members with a $25 AMEX gift card if they present proof of vaccination before June 30.

With twenty-three locations in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, the casual-dining restaurant chain employs over 1,800 people during peak season and serves about 2 million pizzas to tens of thousands of customers annually.

“The goal is to get our staff fully vaccinated for the safety and health of both our customers and employees,” said Jeff Gosnear, vice president of Grotto Pizza. “As a company with locations across three states with a customer geography base that travels over 200 miles to visit us in the summertime, we feel it’s our social responsibility to invest in incentivizing our staff to get the COVID-19 shot. We’re preparing our team for what we hope is a busy summer season, and we’re proud to play a role in curbing the spread of the virus so that we can all resume our favorite pastimes—especially dining at Grotto Pizza.”

UNO Pizzeria & Grill, which has 90 stores in 18 states across the U.S., launched a similar initiative in March. UNO created an internal concierge system to help employees secure and attend COVID-19 vaccine appointments and rewards them with a $50 gift card for getting vaccinated.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, Frank Schiavone, co-owner of Francesco’s Pizzeria, took a different tact, giving away free slices to any customer who showed up with proof of vaccination on Sunday, May 2. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to be almost like a leader in the sense of, let’s just get by this,” he said. “Let’s do what we have to do, to get ourselves back to work, back out in restaurants, get people off unemployment and let’s just start moving.”