College students are assured of two experiences during college – hunger and poverty.
Thankfully, local restaurants have provided an avenue for students to partake of their cuisine at a discounted price. Many fast food restaurants around ACU and Hardin-Simmons University offer discounts and promotions to draw in hungry students. The idea of cheaper food is appealing to ACU students who are looking to save a dime.
“The idea of student discounts at restaurants is brilliant,” said sophomore undeclared major Jacob Lowe. “First, it brings in more revenue because of the abundance of college students in Abilene. Moreover, there is an abundance of students interested in cheaper food.”
Restaurants near ACU that offer a student discount include Rosa’s Café, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Each of these establishments offers a 10 percent discount to students who present a student ID. Additionally, Chicken Express has a meal specially priced for students.
The idea behind student discounts is more complex than it may seem at first glance. The savings are obviously great for many students, but they serve a purpose for the restaurants, as well.
Larry Sanders serves as marketing director for Exceptional Brands in Abilene, which operates the Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave’s and Taco Bell restaurants in the area. Sanders said he believes student discounts like the one at Taco Bell bring in new customers and also help in maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage.
“It’s not just about drawing people in; it’s about retention,” Sanders said. “Our 10 percent discount embraces customers, so hopefully they’ll remember us.”
Sanders said student discounts play a role in an aggressive marketing strategy that helps make Taco Bell appealing to students.
Aside from restaurant-offered discounts, the Students’ Association also has tools to help famished college students survive a late night of studying. Every semester, SA purchases Collegiate Cards that students can use to receive discounts across Abilene. SA Vice President Tony Godfrey says the cards are a way SA can make college life a little easier.
“The Collegiate Card is something that SA has been buying for years,” Godfrey said. “The organization deals with businesses of all sorts all over Abilene. We pay a certain amount each year to make them available for free to students.”
Godfrey also noted the cards can be used for more than food. Collegiate Card discounts are available for other things, such as oil changes, flowers, dry cleaning and movie rentals. Students can pick up the cards in the SA office and find out where to use them at www.thecollegiatecard.net.