Discount card to offer local deals

Hungry Yalies and New Haven residents will soon be able to dine out for less via a new discount card program called Save Haven.

The card, which organizers said will be on sale by late October for $10, provides access to discounts at 17 restaurants around Yale. Discounts include free bubble tea with a purchase of $15 or more at Ivy Noodle and a 20 percent discount at Ashley’s Ice Cream. A quarter of the profits from card sales will go to Safe Haven, a local food bank and homeless shelter, said Save Haven founders Alexander Ward ’15 and Hannah Flaum ’15. Ward and Flaum said they hope the program will benefit the New Haven community along with Yale students.

“We wanted to make something that would help out students and residents,” Ward said. “We tried to focus on the restaurants that are most popular to Yale students but also have some that are less popular.”

Students interviewed, however, generally lacked the same enthusiasm Ward and Flaum shared for the card.

Ryn Buhler ’16, who eats out once every two weeks, said he is unlikely to buy the card, citing that he rarely visits the restaurants at which discounts are offered.

“If you weren’t on the meal plan and ate out a lot more it might be a better deal,” Buhler said.

Some students, however, said that they might consider buying the card after looking further into the discounts provided. Ana Grajales ’13, who lived off campus last year, said that eating out can be a less expensive option than the meal plan.

“I would take the discount card if the discount rate offered is good enough,” Grajales said.

Ward and Flaum hatched the idea for the card over the summer and have financed the project with their own money. At the upcoming football games against Lafayette and the University of Pennsylvania, they plan to set up tables to sell the cards inside the Tailgate Village and near the gate to the Yale Bowl. The two said they also intend to sell Save Haven cards at locations around campus.

Save Haven is not the first attempt by Yale students to create a discount card for New Haven businesses. In 2010, Sam Silverman ’10 began selling the “Bulldog Card,” which provided discounts at 55 New Haven vendors compared to Save Haven’s 17. The Bulldog Card ultimately failed to gain significant traction among Yale students and was discontinued. At the time, many attributed the card’s failure to the fact that a Yale ID itself provides students with discounts at vendors across New Haven.

Some students suggested that the discounts offered by the Save Haven card are already found in coupons that are freely available.

“The specials they’re talking about you can get for free from coupons,” Francois Kassier ’16 said.

Nonetheless, restaurant managers offering Save Haven discounts expressed hope that the card would help bring in more business.

“It’s capturing the Yale students and New Haven residents,” said Amit Jaiswal, business manager for Thali Too.

Ward and Flaum said they ordered an initial bundle of 1,000 cards to sell.

Dhruv Aggarwal contributed reporting.

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