Saxby’s Free Voter Coffee

After an extremely anticipated midterm election, the results are finally in with record breaking voter turnout. Around 36 million people tuned in Tuesday night to watch live updates as the results were calculated. With the Senate and House at stake, there was a huge push to get people out to vote, specifically younger generations. Looking at recent elections there has been a big difference in the turnout between younger and older generations. In Philadelphia specifically, only 8 percent of the voters made up millennial demographics in recent elections.

This lack of young voter representation led to a big push in getting people out to vote this midterm season. Saxby’s, a Philadelphia based coffee cafe, participated in this effort by giving away promotional coffee to voters on November 6, 2018. The promotion offered a choice of a free medium Groothie (a green smoothie), a free medium hot coffee, or a free medium cold brew to anyone who claims to have voted.

Saxby’s was not the only business to give free handouts to voters, however Saxby’s also incentivized their employees to head to the polls by compensating an hour’s worth of pay to anyone who voted. The company stated it, “understands the challenges [of] leaving the middle of a shift to get out and vote can present and is making every effort to reduce any barriers to entry for team members to exercise their right to participate this year. On November 6th, any team member that chooses to vote will be compensated for that hour of his or her time, whether or not they were scheduled to work.”

Saxbys’ CEO, Nick Bayer, explained their goal was to help increase voter turnout, since Philadelphia has historically seen lower millennial turnouts in past years. The goal was achieved with a record breaking turnout at the polls earlier this week. However, Saxby’s might have also achieved success in public relations as well.

Capitalizing on a timely news issue could be a huge benefit for Saxby’s public relations. The amount of media coverage that the company received may help boost its image. Media outlets who reported on this promotion include CBS Philly, PhillyVoice, BillyPenn, Eater Philadelphia, The Inquirer, 6ABC, and many more. Time will tell whether the business will see a change in profit, but it seems clear, people and media were talking a lot about Saxby’s and their free drinks. This promotion has other possible benefits for the business. There is opportunity for increased customer loyalty and appeal. Seeing the number increases in younger voter turnout, there is evidence to believe that younger generations are advocates for political action. Saxby’s push for the same type of action could be a great appeal to consumers. Customers might also pledge loyalty to Saxby’s over competitor form this promotion. Only time will tell if these opportunities will turn into strengths for the business,  but there is no doubt Saxby’s definitely made it mark this past election season.

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