Students will soon be able to use their Capital Bucks, or Flex Dollars, to pay for meals at select Main Street restaurants.
Mike Horan, vice president of business and finance, revealed that Capital plans to begin pairing with surrounding restaurants within as little as 30 days. Establishments such as COSI, Guiseppe’s, and Jimmy John’s have eagerly begun to hop on board as plans are being made.
The results of last year’s student surveys indicated that the majority thought that there should be more dining options on campus. After plans of bringing an Einstein’s Bagels to campus fell through due to lack of space, Horan and Tracy Severson, executive administrative assistant of business and finance, began reaching out to local businesses with the intention of partnering with them.
Beta-testing will go on with a few restaurants, the names of which likely being revealed by the beginning of November. This will help decide which restaurants will be added to a finalized list that is predicted to be finished by the 2017 fall semester. Expansion among businesses will begin during the 2017 spring semester, so graduating seniors will still be able to take advantage of this opportunity.
This testing will allow students to use their Capital Bucks to buy beverages, snacks, full meals, or whatever else a specific restaurant might be selling. If a meal costs seven dollars, then seven Capital Bucks will be removed from the student’s account.
At the end of each month, participating restaurants will reveal the amount of times a Capital ID was used in their facility. Capital will then send the establishment monetary compensation for the cost of the meal swipes, which is estimated to be around $1,500 a month, or $350,000 for the entire year.
“This will be a good way to strengthen our relationship with the community,” Severson said.
In addition, Horan and Severson are working to increase the amount of Capital Bucks and meal swipes that students have in their accounts. This change is expected to take place spring of 2017.
Horan believes that having the ability to use Capital Bucks off-campus will be a good opportunity for both students and businesses. Many universities in Ohio already have a system like this set up, and local restaurants have been waiting for the chance to partner with Capital.
Students can stay tuned for the full list of beta-test restaurants, which Horan hopes will become permanent members of the #capfam.