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New Cause-based Mobile Rewards App Replaces Traditional Restaurant Customer Loyalty Card

All Restaurants in Denver, Chicago and Minneapolis Can Join “Eat-A-Bite, Give-A-Bit” to Reward Customers and Fight Hunger in Their Communities

MINNEAPOLIS, (March 13, 2012) – ValuedPatron Marketing Services, LLC (VPMS) has launched Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit™ — a long‐term, cause‐marketing program based on a smartphone app that
unites food manufacturers, restaurants and consumers to help feed hungry Americans, while rewarding each group for their participation.

A new concept in customer‐relationship building that replaces the traditional loyalty rewards program, Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit is based on a Cause Rewards Marketing technology and viral social media platform that utilizes mobile‐based scanning technology.

Now in the second week of a 90‐day kickoff, the program has already signed on 50 restaurants in three U.S. markets ‐‐Denver/Boulder, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago. All restaurants in these three metro areas are encouraged to participate in the Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit program by registering athttp://business.valuedpatron.com/register.

ValuedPatron is partnering with Performance Foodservice, one of the nation’s leading foodservice distributors, and Roma Food, the largest distributor of Italian and Italian‐American food products, to introduce Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit to its more than 100,000 U.S. restaurant customers. Both are part of Performance Food Group, a leading food distributor based in Richmond, Va. Among the participating restaurants are Angelo’s Pizza Parlors in Denver and Lafayette, Colo.; Champp’s in Minneapolis and Gonzo’s Pizzeria in suburban Chicago.

“We’re proud to have Performance Food Group’s support of the Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit program, ” said Keith Bluford, CEO of ValuedPatron. “Our technology gives PFG’s restaurant customers a replacement for the outdated loyalty rewards punch card ‐‐ a totally new concept that enables a group of like‐minded individuals to rally together for a single cause and gives restaurants a way to focus on valuing their customers.”

Eat‐A Bite, Give‐A‐Bit was designed in response to increasing consumer demand for marketing programs that are connected with positive social benefits. A 2011 study by Cone Communications found a company’s support of causes related to poverty and hunger inspires 53‐54 percent of consumers to want to purchase a company’s products or services or be more loyal to that company, and motivates 59 percent to say they will recommend that company to others. (Source: 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study)

“In the past, the food industry has supported successful fundraising events, such as ‘The Great Dine Out,’ but Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit is an industry game‐changer,” said Bluford. “It is the first platform for maintaining a long‐term, sustainable campaign with direct involvement from all parties, including the consumer at point‐of‐purchase.”

In this program, participating food manufacturers and VPMS pledge money to a pool of funds to be donated to local food banks affiliated with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger‐relief charity. A portion of those funds is released to the local Feeding America food bank every time a customer receives a digital “punch” at a participating restaurant. The size of the pool in each market determines how much each “punch” is worth to the food bank. Leprino Foods is one of the initial funding partners.

Concurrently, restaurant customers benefit directly by receiving a suggested discount of 50 percent or greater on their next meal out once they have collectively reached the “punch point” of digital punches at any participating restaurant. For example, a patron who records even a single punch at five restaurants could receive discounts at each of those restaurants when those restaurants reach “punch point.” Consumers can use Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit’s built‐in social media capabilities to encourage friends and family to participate in the program, which enables “punch point” to be reached more quickly.

Restaurants benefit through expanded communications with new and existing customers. Using the Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit Facebook page or text messages, restaurants can build what Bluford calls “total engagement” with customers, communicating special offers, recipes, event invitations and other restaurant news. Via the program’s secure  dashboard, restaurants can track, monitor and analyze customer visits and frequency in real time.

The program is easy to join. Participating restaurants display Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit point of purchase promotional materials and encourage patrons to join using their mobile phones and ValuedPatron’s mobile‐scanning technology.

Katie Ponce, owner of Umbria Gourmet Pizzeria in Minneapolis, stated, “Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit gives us a way to not only ensure customer frequency, but to let our customers know that they are valued. It’s a big mind shift from what can the customer do for me, to what can we do for others together.”

Following the initial three‐city launch, which is expected to engage more than 30,000 consumers, the Eat‐A‐Bite, Give‐A‐Bit program will be rolled out to new cities every month starting in June 2012. The program will eventually include restaurants in 95 cities throughout the country.


About ValuedPatron

ValuedPatron is a Marketing solutions company that enables B2C clients to increase revenues by obtaining, leveraging and retaining customers. ValuedPatron understands the need to engage consumers by fusing synergistic social causes with creative messaging, cutting‐edge technology and social media to connect consumer, corporation, and charity in a unified manner that is congruent with product or business category. www.valuedpatron.com

Note to Editors: High‐quality video and images are available on the ValuedPatron Newsroom at http://customer.valuedpatron.com/page/customer‐newsroom."

About Performance Food Group:
Through its leading family of foodservice distributors – Performance Foodservice, Vistar and PFG Customized Distribution, Performance Food Group, Inc. (PFG) delivers over 150,000 national and proprietary-branded food and food-related products to the locations of more than 150,000 independent and national chain restaurants, quick-service eateries, pizzerias, theaters, schools, hotels, health care facilities and other institutions. The company currently employs more than 12,000 people throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.pfgc.com.

Media contact:
Joe Vagi
Manager, Corporate Communications 
(804) 484-7737
jvagi@pfgc.com