Ohio University Dining Services got 123 freshman students to upgrade their meal plans—a nearly $90,000 bump in meal plan sales—thanks to an upgrade promotion held during the pre-college orientation before the beginning of the school year. Freshmen who agreed to upgrade from a traditional to a super meal plan were entered into a drawing to win the upgrade free of charge for the first term. The department gave away 10 free upgrades at a total cost of $2,630, reports Dining Services Director Rich Neumann.
The promotion was advertised during pre-college orientation with flyers explaining the benefits of upgrading, table tents at the meal service, and through students who worked the information fair and registration tables, who wore t-shirts saying "Win Free Food" Ask Me How!" Dining Services also handed out patch handle bags at the orientation that said "Win Free Food". The total cost of all the flyers, bags and t-shirts was $1,600, Neumann says, "but we got Pepsi to sponsor half of this amount, so our cost was only $800."