Yale Students and New Haven Businesses Put Breast Cancer Awareness on Menu

Yale Students and New Haven Businesses Put Breast Cancer Awareness on Menu

Before launching a campaign to raise funds for breast cancer awareness in New Haven this month, Maggie Thomas ’15 M.E.M. and four other Yale students did their homework.

Their plan was to ask restaurants and bars across the city to add meals or drinks to their menus calling attention to the disease, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Before making their pitches, they filled a spreadsheet with their negotiation questions, tailored for each business. (They asked one restaurant, for instance, “Would you consider putting a ‘boobie burger’ on your menu?”) If the initial pitch didn’t go well, they had a second question ready. And a third.

It turns out they didn’t need a spreadsheet. “In every restaurant we started by asking our most ridiculous question — the ‘classic door-in-the-face ask,’ is what it’s called,” Thomas said. “And they always said, ‘Yes’! We thought, ‘It’s that easy?’”

According to Thomas — who helped organize the project for a Yale School of Management course on influence and persuasion — seven New Haven businesses have agreed to support the cause. Mory’s immediately added a pink cup, and will donate $10 per sale. The Cask Republic added a specialty cocktail, the “Nip Slip.”

By the end of the month, Thomas says, the students expect to raise $10,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“For us, a big part of this was not just raising funds but raising awareness,” she said. “Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. And it was important for us to not just raise money for an organization that is working on research — which, of course, is important — but to also engage the local community and our peers on an issue that impacts everybody.”

So far, the following New Haven businesses have agreed to participate through the end of October (More to follow):

Mory’s
The Cask Republic
Ordinary
Chipotle
Wall Street Pizza
Box 63
Anna Liffey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant