As local restaurants continue to suffer through the COVID-19 pandemic, students in the College of Business and Public Management have decided to take action with a campaign called Eat La Verne, which is meant to bring more business to struggling local restaurants.
The students are strategizing to get the University community more involved with local food businesses by promoting daily specials and hosting raffles for the students.
Local businesses are the heart of the La Verne community. Students of Stephen Monteros’ Business Consulting class – including seniors Katelyn Ray, Desery Arellano, Priscilla Rodriguez, Dani Sanchez and Emily Martinez – partnered with La Verne’s Chamber of Commerce to work on the virtual campaign through LeoConnect, a digital programming system for ULV students, and Instagram.
Ray, a senior business administration major, said the campaign started with digital signage around the ULV campus, but was redirected to digital marketing in light of the campus shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We called every single restaurant in La Verne to see if they were open to offering any deals that we could promote for their business,” Ray said.
The Eat La Verne team negotiated and set special deals with many local restaurants that would give students an incentive to support and eat locally.
The students shared a spreadsheet which lists every restaurant in La Verne along with their contact information and the food delivery apps that support them. The spreadsheet can be found on lavernechamber.org.
Arellano, a senior business administration major, said they are working on the growth of their Instagram page @leovision_ulv to raise awareness and get more students to participate in their giveaway.
“We have already had one person win a $25 gift card and posted it because we want to show that we are legitimate with what we’re doing,” Arellano said.
The students are passionate about the work they are doing and meet every Friday to discuss progress and ideas for new marketing strategies that would expand the project.
Sharlene Jackson-Ridson, director of development in University Advancement and faculty partner of the Eat La Verne campaign, commended the students for their diligence with the campaign.
“Their lives were turned upside down and they still found a way to pivot and support La Verne’s businesses,” Jackson said.
Senior accounting major Rodriguez said learning to be adaptable in this situation has been a great educational experience.
The team worked together to establish relationships with the business owners and make their business experience more authentic; showing they genuinely wanted to help.
The Eat La Verne campaign is hosting two contests, La Verne’s Got Talent and the Eat La Verne gift card giveaway which will stretch to the end of the semester. More information can be found on their Instagram page at instagram.com/leovision_ulv.
Students can get involved with Eat La Verne by joining the Business Consulting course next fall as the work they did will be carried over to the following semester.
Deja Goode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.