The Freudian Sip coffeehouses at CSUN are expected to introduce frequent drink cards and gift cards before the spring 2007 semester, said Elmer Bautista, manager of Freudian Sip.
With the frequent drink cards, customers who purchase nine prepared drinks at Freudian Sip will receive a 10th drink free. The electronic gift cards are an easier way for regular customers to make purchases by placing a desired amount on their Freudian Sip card.
The Freudian Sip at Pierce College, which operates under a licensing agreement with the University Corporation at CSUN, has recently introduced electronic gift cards and has had frequent drink cards since the location opened in May 2005.
The University Corporation owns the name and trademark for all Freudian Sip locations.
Dave Nirenberg, the director of Commercial Services, said there was no particular reason the cards had never been introduced at CSUN. Nirenberg said he would bring it up at his next meeting.
“It’s a marketing tool,” Nirenberg said. “We just haven’t done it.
The idea of discount and electronic gift cards at CSUN was discussed when the first Freudian Sip opened in the Sierra Center in Fall 2003, but other dining cards, such as the campus a la card, were considered more of a priority back then, Bautista said.
“More people use the (dining) cards, especially (those) living in the dorms,” he said.
Bautista said finding ways to prevent the use of duplicating fraudulent frequent drink cards is also an issue that will have to be resolved before the cards come out.
“It’s not so easy with all the computers and technology,” said Bautista. “It’s so easy for people to buy stamps or punch their own holes in the card. There are lots of honest people, but there are those who want the shortcut.”
Despite the risk of fraudulent cards, frequent drink cards do increase business, said Greg Osweiler, the bookstore manger and Freudian Sip supervisor at Pierce College.
“It builds customer loyalty and gives them an incentive to return,” said Osweiler.
Approximately 1,500 people a day visit the Pierce Freudian Sip and some students visit multiple times a day. Forty to 50 people come to redeem their free drink every month, said Osweiler.
With staff demand alone, the electronic gift cards are expected to increase sales by at least 10 percent, said Osweiler.
In a recent survey of Pierce students, the Freudian Sip was named the number one reason to come to Pierce College, said Osweiler, adding that the football team, the Pierce College Brahmas, loves to hang out at the Freudian Sip.
Cindy Van, the assistant bookstore manager, said frequent drink cards are also a good way to get students to try drinks they have never tried before.
Eliza Katsman, a pre-veterinarian major at Pierce, said the frequent drink cards don’t make much of a difference to her.
“I have like five or six cards and I always forget to use them,” said Katsman, who ordered an iced coffee. “The employees don’t really talk them up. A lot of times you have to remind them.”
Katsman said it is a hassle to leave campus and finds the Freudian Sip at Pierce more convenient.
“Coffee Bean tastes better and they have better tea, but I like the environment here,” said Katsman.
Jared Dickerson, a high school student taking Spanish at Pierce, had similar feelings.
“I think convenience makes (the Freudian Sip) a necessity,” said Dickerson, who prefers the food served at the Pierce Freudian Sip rather than the coffee.
Whether CSUN students choose the Freudian Sip out of preference or necessity, frequent drink cards were a nice idea to those who were asked.
Steve Cubias, junior business management major, said he comes to the Freudian Sip only once a year since he doesn’t drink coffee often.
“It seems like a cool idea,” said Cubias, who ordered an iced chai latte. “I would probably come back.”
Yesenia Jauregui, junior sociology major, said she visits the Freudian Sip every day. She usually orders a vanilla frappe, especially when the weather is hot.
“I would definitely be on it,” said Jauregui, of the possibility of frequent drink cards. “I don’t know what took them so long to introduce them.”
The Freudian Sip in the Sierra Center, which is the most popular location on campus, has between 900 to 1,000 daily customers. The location in the Matador Bookstore complex has between 400 to 600 daily customers, said Bautista.