Students now have more options in Harvard Square to spend their recently acquired $75 of Crimson Cash with the addition of new eateries to the program.
Harvard University Dining Services wrote in an email to students on Oct. 15 that the University would add $25 to students’ Crimson Cash accounts in order to introduce more “flexibility” in student dining options during the dining hall workers’ strike. A week later, HUDS announced they would add another $50 to students’ Crimson Cash accounts.
Crimson Cash is a payment account to which students can add value and use to make purchases at both on and off-campus establishments.
The program has added pizzeria Oggi Gourmet and burger chain b.good to the online list of now 18 establishments that accept Crimson Cash. Oggi Gourmet cook Herson Juardo said that although the pizzeria had ended their participation in the program after moving to 30 Dunster St. in February, student interest led them to rejoin.
“We began accepting it starting this weekend,” Juardo said. “A lot of our customers were asking if we were accepting Crimson Cash in the last few weeks, so we decided to start using it again.”
B.good, which reopened earlier this month in Harvard Square, previously accepted Crimson Cash at their Smith Campus Center location, according to Director of Marketing Aubree Giarrosso. The eatery closed in March due to renovations to the Smith Campus Center slated to last until 2018.
“We just started accepting Crimson Cash again at our new location yesterday,” Giarrosso said on Tuesday. “We used to allow it at our old location and after popular demand from our customers, brought it back to our new location.”
Some merchants said they had seen increased Crimson Cash usage at their restaurants and stores during the strike. The strike began in early October and appears near its end after Harvard and dining workers reached a "tentative agreement" Tuesday.
Broadway Marketplace has seen an increased number of students using Crimson Cash, according to store manager George Hickey.
“Crimson Cash actually sent out a small flyer to all of their retailers to let us know that the students were going to get an increase on their cards,” Hickey said. “I responded and asked them for an additional stand-alone card-reading machine so that I could actually have two in the store and within five days I received it.”
John Hochberger, the general manager of restaurant Wagamama, said he estimates there has been about three times as much Crimson Cash used since students received additional funds.
“Before we wouldn’t see too much come through but now it is a regular form of payment,” Hochberger said. “It’s definitely positive for our company; for the students, they seem like they’re really enjoying it when they’re coming in. I know they’re having issues with their dining halls which is unfortunate, but we’re glad to sort of help them in any way that we can.”
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