Central Bar, a popular St Andrews pub located on Market Street, recently turned its attention to a new offering — a student discount card. The Belhaven pub, part of pub company and brewer Greene King’s portfolio, is hoping the promotion will increase student business and satisfaction.
The card grants students 20% off all food and drinks and can be used at any time, any day of the week, until 21 December 2023. While Central Bar does accept the popular student discount app ‘Student Beans’ which guarantees the same 20% reduction, this can only be used once every hour. However, the card — issued at the bar upon purchase —can be used at any time. According to the Student Beans website, Greene King pubs also require a £5 minimum spend, whereas Central Bar’s policy does not.
When asked why the discount card was introduced, General Manager Alistair Chapman responded, “Market share, really. The company itself [Greene King] has rolled it out across all 1,700 pubs.”
He continued, “The Central historically hasn’t been much of a student-y pub,” despite the fact it is “[A] nice environment for students to come and hang out.”
Since the introduction of the cards, there has been an increase in student business, which was a key priority for Central Bar, and this growth has remained consistent as word has spread. Alistair told The Saint, “It has 100 per cent changed business — more students have been coming in.”
However, this discount might look different next year. While there are no plans to stop offering the ‘Student Beans’ discount, a review will be conducted in November to determine whether the scheme will be extended and cards will continue to be issued. So far, it’s been a hit and students have preferred using a card to an app, which Alistair says was the rationale for its introduction.
As for the other bars around St. Andrews, there are a range of student discount policies to make use of. At the Rule, a variety of student discounts apply to selected products, including some vodkas, beers, and spirits, and there is an additional bonus if students join through a sports team or society. The Vic offers 20% off its food menu, and price reductions on specific alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the week.
Image: Sasha Smithie