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Local restaurants make deals that help student budgets

September 23rd, 2012 Posted in Business

By Jessica Sonderegger

CACHE VALLEY — Taco Tuesdays, Free Pie Nights and Five-Dollar Footlongs are faithfully celebrated by college students from the East Coast to the West; if not for the inexpensive dining, then for the social atmosphere created by the congregation of hungry students.

But the need for economic recovery continues to encourage us to sustain our local economies—keeping our money in the community we live, even as college students. Many say this concern is gaining priority and that it is valuable to shop locally.

Locally owned restaurants across the nation are fighting for the business of their communities, as well as their college students, just as much as their chain franchise rivals. In an attempt to get customers to shop local, Firehouse Pizzeria’s website reads: “Did you know that $100 spent at a national chain only $43 stays in the community. If that same $100 is spent at locally owned independent stores $68 stays in the community.”

With this in mind, Hard News Café spotlights four local restaurants offering everyday student discounts, rates and giveaways. And with a surplus of Aggies to entertain, Cache Valley restaurants are definitely recognizing our student population.

Center Street Grill
Offering an everyday student discount of 10 percent with student IDs, the staff of Center Street Grill agrees the South Western Burger and the Barbeque Bacon Ranch Burger are the most popular menu items among college students. Serving breakfast all day and offering an eclectic selection of American cuisine, Center Streets Grill’s individual menu items rarely exceed $9 — the exception, of course, being Man V Grill.

“If you can do it, you’re making money,” said waiter Ryan Hardman. Once every two months, Center Street Grill hosts Man V Grill, a burger-eating competition that awards victors a designated barf bucket, public recognition on their wall of fame and $50 worth of gift certificates. Contestants have 45 minutes to consume a grand total of three and a half pounds of Center Street burger—something Hardman says is as challenging as it is entertaining.

“If you don’t win, you don’t win,” Hardman said. “It tastes good either way.”

The next Man V Grill is Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. and it is suggested that applicants sign up before actual competition. Entry fee is $20 and includes a Man V Grill T-shirt. Reimbursement of entry fee can be obtained upon completion of competition requirements.

The Beehive Grill
Recognized by the community for its in-house root beer and creative root beer-based menu items, The Beehive Grill offers students and teachers 15 percent off their bills—every student, every teacher; all day, every day. Assistant General Manager Andy Lundberg explained the discount is extended to all students and teachers in an attempt to give back to the community.

Aside from the daily benefits of their student/teacher discount, The Beehive Grill has Pub Specials that are offered on a weekly basis. With the purchase of a drink you can score a $3 hamburger-fry combo on Mondays and Two-Bit Wings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Lundberg gladly identified Two-Bit Wings as the culprit of some of their busiest afternoons. “We fill up the whole bar,” he said. Wings are sold for 25 cents per wing and are offered for two hours, three days a week.

In addition, those following The Beehive Grill on Facebook are eligible for weekly giveaways. In house, The Beehive Grill also holds weekly drawings for prizes such as $30 meals, free of charge.

The Crepery
Contrary to traditional student discounts, owner Gabe Anderson has adopted alternative methods.

“Most of our Facebook followers are students,” Anderson said. Out of 1,617 followers, and counting, “most” is a hefty figure. The Crepery Likes You Back is a Facebook-oriented rewards program, generously awarding the faithful customers and followers of Logan’s local crepe shop. If The Crepery “likes you back”, you are gifted a complimentary crepe of your choice, on the house. Anderson explained about six complimentary crepes are given away weekly and encouraged his Facebook audience to watch for daily deals. A recent post read: “FREE SODA with crepe purchase all day. Just mention you saw this on Facebook.”

Equipped with a new location as well as new menu items, Anderson said The Crepery provides an easy and entertaining atmosphere. “We love it; we’re having a lot of fun.”

Firehouse Pizzeria
Home of the 36-inch pizza and the original FH’zookie, Firehouse Pizzeria offers Cache Valley two different locations—both founded on stone-fired oven pizza baking; both honoring an everyday student discount of 10 percent; both committed to doubling that discount to 20 percent every Thursday. And with the price of individual entrees around $10, 20 percent definitely saves you a couple bucks.

Even more impressive than the Thursday discount is the 36-inch pizza in its entirety. Whether you are embracing the pizza challenge or splitting the cost with a couple of roommates, you are sure to win big. Co-owner and founder of Firehouse Pizzeria Greg Chambers explained winners of the pizza challenge essentially walk away with 24 free pizzas. Two contestants are allowed one sitting to consume a custom-ordered 36-inch pizza—equivalent to five large Firehouse pizzas in dimension and in flavor. If the contestants successfully accomplish said requirements, they are each rewarded one free pizza every month for an entire year. On top of all of that, completion of your pizza challenge reimburses your initial entry fee; the pizza challenge is on the house, and you and your partner just won yourselves 24 free meals.

Though the dimensions of the 36-inch pizza are intimidating for a daring duo, this mega pizza is not only created for the pizza challenge. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for large parties to split the cost and enjoy a respectable amount of Firehouse goodness for a fraction of what it would have cost them to purchase alone. Chambers noted that the pizza can be quartered, therefore personally appetizing to four different parties. He also made mention of Firehouse’s following on Facebook, and that they reward individual followers weekly with complimentary pizzas.


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