A new student-run diner serving all-day breakfast food is set to open in Houston Hall this spring.
Named Benny's Diner, the establishment will occupy the space previously held by the now-closed Paris La Petite Creperie, Penn Student Agencies General Manager Claire Williams said. It will serve homestyle breakfast food and be run through Penn Student Agencies, an umbrella group for student-run businesses such as Williams Cafe and Penn Student Design.
Williams said the diner was created in response to student requests.
"[Students] requested interest in having all-day breakfast at an affordable price in a place that is welcoming that they can study and hang out,” she said.
According to a Penn Student Agencies project presentation, the diner's mission is "to provide an eco-friendly, affordable, home-style, and community-based dining experience to Penn students — through the integration of Penn’s unique diverse cultural perspectives."
Williams said the diner is projected to open in spring 2020, and she is hopeful it will be operational by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
The proposal was developed by several Penn Student Agencies student employees who were inspired by the student-run food services ventures presented at the 2019 Student-Run Business Association Conference, according to a press release. College junior Michael Warren and Engineering senior Jazzy Ortega led the project, with help from College juniors Tyira Bunche — who is a Daily Pennsylvanian staffer — and Alex Jackman.
"[Our students] identified that that was certainly a need on campus," Williams said. "There weren’t a lot of options that were providing all day breakfast options."
A decision has not yet been made as to whether the diner will accept meal swipes or Dining Dollars as payment, although Williams said some form of payment connected to student dining plans would be ideal.
Applications for leadership, upper management, and priority entry-level positions at the diner were due Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. The diner plans to hire 40 or more current students to fill these positions, according to the project presentation.
“These ventures of ours really do rely a lot on student involvement and engagement," Williams said. "Whether it’s in terms of the actual function of the business, in terms of running the business or just students being customers. We always just want to encourage Penn students to support their student ventures on campus.”
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