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The Ram in the Rye is making big marketing changes to draw in crowds and increase sales at Ryerson’s campus pub.
Rick Knapp, food and beverage manager of the Palin Foundation, said promotional events and social media publicity have helped stabilize sales for the first few weeks this year. Overall sales at The Ram decreased to $880,000 in 2013 from $910,000 in 2012.
Knapp, who oversees operations at The Ram and Oakham House, said the decrease in sales last year was likely because of increased competition, changes in programming and an increase in education costs, which forced students to eat out less often.
Matthew Kirchknopf, a fourth-year Ryerson psychology student, said The Ram is still one of the most affordable options despite the competition in the area. He said that he has noticed the pub is busier than usual.
Knapp has also noticed the change. He said there was an increase in events at The Ram from last November to the beginning of the winter semester.
He also said he made “substantial changes” in marketing strategies, focusing on promoting the student debt and daily drink specials.
The pub also gives away a pair of tickets to Leafs and Raptors games at least once a week and has launched two new weekly events, including Monday night pub trivia and Wednesday night’s open stage.
Knapp said he always expects higher sales in the beginning of the fall and winter semesters.
“Before studies get heavy for students, they tend to get out more,” he said.
With the new efforts in place, Knapp said he expects a considerable jump in business moving forward.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on January 29, 2014.