A local Checkers is now offering student discounts and supporting local organizations.
The double drive-thru restaurant at 912 W. University Ave. now grants different discounts for students who show their Gator 1 Card. On Sundays and Mondays, students will receive a free ice cream cone with the purchase of combos one through four on the menu. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, they will get 10 percent off any combo.
The promotion started Sunday and will run through the end of the year, said the restaurant’s general manager Leeann Lamb.
“I think it would really help not just us, but it’d be a good thing for the students,” Lamb said. “When the kids first come in, they’ve got to move in. They, a lot of times, don’t have their grant money or whatever yet, you know? No money is coming in. I feel like it’s something that’s going to help them out. They’re running off a low amount of money.”
Monique Puentes, a women’s studies freshman at UF, said she would be more likely to eat at restaurants in close proximity to campus if they offered student discounts.
“Saving money is very important to me, and I try to use as many coupons and take advantage of deals,” Puentes, 18, said. “They are one of the few fast food restaurants that don’t try to make it seem like they are being more healthy and downsizing their portions. If I’m going to a fast food restaurant, I’m obviously not trying to watch my calories, so I might as well splurge and eat all of the extras, like cheese and bacon.”
The student discounts are just one way Lamb said she is working to make Checkers a valued member of the Gainesville community. She said the store is supporting the Alachua County Library District’s Summer Reading Program and various local PTA programs with thousands of free coupons. Checkers was also on the Gator Stompin’ menu for the first time in the Spring.
“Gainesville is a very tight-knit community, and we need to be part of the community,” Lamb said. “We’re not just a fast food restaurant that’s hanging out on University. We’re a member of the community.”
[A version of this story ran on page 3 on 9/29/2014]