Pizza companies express interest in use of Big Red cards for delivery

Beth Sewell

A place where pizza is considered a fifth food group, Western may be close to making it easier for students to pay for delivery.

A proposal that would allow students to pay for delivery pizza with Big Red dollars, dining dollars or meal plan dollars may become reality by Dec. 1, said Dining Services director Barry Wells.

Auxiliary Services director Rob Chrisler said Western sent out a proposal last month to local pizza companies to gauge if there was interest in such an undertaking.

Four local pizza delivery services expressed interest – Papa John’s, Domino’s, Dough Boy’s and Pizza Hut.

These companies are expected to submit proposals early next month, outlining what they will provide to students if they are chosen to head the new service.

Chrisler said discount prices for delivery will be a main selling point.

“Students need to get the same discounts available on campus,” Chrisler said. “There shouldn’t be a punishment for using your card.”

The prospect of students using their Big Red cards to purchase delivery pizza is appealing to pizza companies, Chrisler said, because it is a guaranteed payment. Instead of dealing with checks that may bounce and crumbled-up dollar bills, the pizza company will swipe a student’s card and money will be taken from the student’s account.

The pizza company that is chosen will be the only pizza company in Bowling Green allowed to accept Big Red cards as payment for delivery. Chrisler said that aspect plays a major role in the interest shown by the four companies.

“It’s only worth it to the company if they have the exclusive rights,” Chrisler said. “It’s just like we do with Pepsi. They offered more than Coke, so that’s why we only have Pepsi on campus.”

In return for the expected benefits, the pizza company chosen by Western will pay a percentage of its commission to the university and Aramark, Western’s food service provider. That percentage hasn’t been determined.

Barbourville freshman Kerri Mitchell said she heard about the new program and can’t wait until it is implemented.

“I think it will be so much easier for them and for us,” Mitchell said. “You might be running low on cash every now and then, but you always have your Big Red card.”

Mitchell said the only thing she still isn’t clear on is how she will tip the delivery person.

“I don’t know if that part is still going to be cash or if we have to tell them how much we want to tip them and have them take it off that way,” Mitchell said. “I guess it depends on who gets the deal.”

Reach Beth Sewell at [email protected]