Fun and free

Student associations are treated to free burgers and fries

Meneer Smakers
Photo: DUB / Yashwanti Puar

The Meneer Smakers restaurants on Nobelstraat and Twijnstraat were filled with members of Navigators Student Union Utrecht (N.S.U.) on Monday, February 19. The hamburger joint gave away 10,000 hamburgers and fries. In each edition, a student one hundred members from a student association in Utrecht are invited to eat there for free.  

The Navigators is the second association to be treated with dinner, after Biton kicked off the campaign. Both restaurants were crowded: a lot of students went there with their friends, committee members, or pledge club. “The announcement to dine out here was made in the association's newsletter, so we thought it would be fun to come here as a group,” says one of the members.

A happy surprise
“People were quick to register”, says another member. “Eating out at a restaurant is quite different from eating at someone else's place or seeing each other at the association's headquarters. You can feel that in the atmosphere. The fact that we are welcome to eat here for free makes the experience really fun and unique.”

The members of the N.S.U. board were also present in the restaurant, sitting shoulder to shoulder at one of the tables. Secretary Michiel Schouten tells us that the board was pleasantly surprised when they were asked to come dine for free. 

“We get offers from companies every so often, but they are not always interesting to us. But, generally speaking, our members are fond of this deal. After all, they can have dinner free of charge. That is why we came with a hundred Navigators to this event.”

The idea
The idea to give away meals to members of student associations originated from the major makeover that Meneer Smakers undertook in 2023, according to Marketing Manager Layla Vlug. The burger joint updated its interior design as well as the burgers on the menu.

“Considering Utrecht has plenty of nice student associations and food prices have risen, we've decided to invite them to come for a tasty burger, says Vlug. “With this gesture, we aim to welcome them to our restaurants and provide them with an unforgettable evening.”

Several student associations in Utrecht were contacted by the burger place. Vlug: “We made a list of all the student associations in the city and asked them if we could drop by. We met their board members and invited them to eat burgers and fries at our restaurants. For free!”

The same pleasant bustle will be seen at the two restaurants in the next five Mondays, when other student associations will be invited.  Rowing association Triton and social association Unitas S.R. are next in line to get free burgers and fries.