As UWM students left their houses and went to their vehicles on Tuesday morning, they were taken by surprise to find “parking tickets” on their windshields. Taking a closer look, students realized that their “tickets” were actually a free pizza slice coupon for Pizza Shuttle on North Farwell. While students were relieved upon the understanding that it wasn’t an actual parking ticket, some of them were still highly irritated by Pizza Shuttle’s promotional gag.
UWM student McKenna Hess was stunned to see her street filled with “parking tickets”, including her own vehicle.
“I was terrified to walk up and see what I was fined for due to [the fact] that I was ticketed a couple days prior to this morning.” Hess discussed how seeing the “ticket” made her anxious, thinking about how she would have to tell her mom how she got yet another ticket.
Sierra Trojan stated, “It seems like a bad form of advertising because most people just got mad. Quality over quantity.” Trojan believes that a different approach for advertising to college students would have been more effective. Other students shared her concern.
When asked about the free slice of pizza tickets, Pizza Shuttle’s manager, Eric, he said they were “just a promotion.” While there’s not a way to determine if this method of advertising was successful, Pizza Shuttle hopes students take advantage of this promotional offer.
Pizza Shuttle has done many other promotional offers beside the pizza tickets. Around campus, employees have handed free pizza slice coupons out to students. They offer a free pizza birthday coupon for those who are applicable. Additionally, their text club allows people to enter to win a free pizza. However, this promotion seemed to cause the most confusion.
Detroit-natives and Pizza Shuttle owners Mark Gold and Louis Siecinski first opened Pizza Shuttles’ doors in Milwaukee in 1985. The pair were motivated and eager to bring their pizza to the city. However, they got ahead of themselves by opening too many stores, impeding their progress.
“We had three stores within 17 months of opening and it was very difficult. We sold two stores within five years and concentrated on the east side store,” Gold explained.
Despite these setbacks, Gold and Siecinski remained positive that their business would survive here in Milwaukee. In competition with many other pizzerias, Pizza Shuttle did grow into a go-to spot for pizza for families, students, and people throughout the community.
Some students enjoyed finding the “parking ticket” situated on their windshield. They felt it was a well thought out advertisement and beneficial for themselves and Pizza Shuttle alike.
“Nothing better than free pizza coupons! I was pretty happy,” stated Ryan Smith. Students such as Smith didn’t see an issue with the promotional offer.
Parking in Milwaukee can be difficult, with congested streets and numerous restricted or permit only parking areas. Students living in the dorms must pay a costly $550 per semester to park in any of the dorm garages. Parking on the street is a hassle, plus a daytime and nighttime parking permit is required to be purchased.
Many students with vehicles are bound to get a ticket during their time in Milwaukee, adding to the stress of college students’ lives, as stated by Hess and Trojan. However, Pizza Shuttle didn’t intend on causing distress. Their ticket stated “this is the only ticket that will save you money and points on your driver’s license,” and it also provides students with the ability to “taste Milwaukee’s best pizza.”