With meal plan sales down from last year, Fresh Foods is taking a new approach at attracting student business by offering select students a free meal at Downing Student Union.

Steve Hoyng, resident district manager for WKU Restaurant and Catering, said his department marketed the free meal to students who are commuters within a certain area or students that had a meal plan last year but did not purchase one this year. The meal is eligible to be used only at Fresh Foods within the first two weeks of school.

Students who fell into either category were sent an email from Dining Services last week notifying them of their free meal. After the free meal is used, students will receive a card showing what meal plans are available and how to sign up for them on TopNet, the email states.

Hoyng said the decrease sales of meal plans from last year is likely due to the decline in WKU students this year.

The price of meal plans has also increased slightly. A meal plan with 21 meals and $100 meal plan dollars now costs $1,622. The lowest meal plan option costs $1,103 and comes with 10 meals and $25 meal plan dollars.

He said the promotion is needed to showcase the renovated Fresh Food Company, and said when visiting he hopes students will notice the redesigned menus which offer more internationally known cuisine.

“I want to hear them say, ‘Wow, this is really nice,’” Hoyng said.

Hoyng said it’s possible in the future Fresh Food Company could offer other incentives to students to encourage them to stick with or purchase a meal plan.

“It’s possible,” he said. “We haven’t tried this before so we will see if there’s any benefit and see if it’s worth it first.”

Bowling Green freshman and commuter Duncan Beach said he liked the renovated DSU but it wasn’t a motivation for him to eat at the new Fresh Food Company.

“I might eat there if my friends really wanted to, but it’s just not in my plans or schedule to eat there right now,” Beach said. “I’d really like something that’s more convenient for me as a commuter like something I can grab to eat as I am passing by.”