Monday, July 10, 2017

“I just love the full moon”

Olly’s new promotion originates with inspiration from above
Olly’s pie-maker John Flynn and co-owner Peter Vosdagalis are ready for Sunday, when the restaurant will run a “Full Moon Special” with half price for any large pizza order.
By SANDY SEOANE, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

WOONSOCKET – Olly’s Pizzeria owner Peter Vosdagalis says he was staring up at the sky one night when the idea came to him.

Vosdagalis knew he wanted some type of promotion to celebrate the restaurant’s 40th year in business. And that night, he dubbed it the “Full Moon Special,” declaring that customers would only pay half price for large pizzas every time the pie-shaped orb was at its fullest this year.

Opened in 1976, the South Main Street restaurant serves much more than just pizza, from sandwiches and salads to a special three-night-a-week menu that includes Mediterranean cuisine and more traditional dinners.

But when the moon is full, the focus is on the pie.

When the full moon is coming, the special is good throughout the day, until the restaurant closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, or 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Vosdagalis said he hopes the promotion will encourage people to notice the lunar cycles as a way to find savings.

“I wanted it to be a little educational,” he said. “Customers tell me ‘I never had any idea when it was a full moon, and now I pay attention.’”

In August, the first month of the promotion, Olly’s sold nearly 500 pizzas.

In September, the full moon fell on a Friday, and the number jumped to more than 1,000 pies.

“We had to get a police officer to direct all of the traffic,” Vosdagalis said. This month, the full moon falls on a Sunday, the day the New England Patriots take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Upcoming full moons fall on Oct. 16, Nov. 14, and Dec. 14, and to help his customers remember, Vosdagalis has ordered magnets with all of the dates and the Olly’s phone number to hand out.

He says delivery on full moon dates could take from two to three hours, so customers should call ahead.

But the promotion in unlimited – meaning guests will pay half price no matter how many pizzas they ask for, or how many toppings they’d like to include.

“We do big orders and it’s very challenging,” Vosdagalis said. “Everyone loves it.”

And for those wondering if the famous Dean Martin lyrics “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore,” inspired the promotion: Vosdagalis said he’s not familiar with the song.

“I just love the full moon,” he said.