For students at the University of Pennsylvania, meal plan purchases have decreased in recent years. So the university's business services has implemented a 5% discount on dining dollar usage at certain campus dining locations in an effort to incentivize the purchase of meal plans.
According to a report from the Daily Pennsylvanian, the discount is new this fall and offers students a tangible benefit to using dining dollars on campus, as opposed to other methods of payment. At non-discounted locations, dining dollars represent a one-to-one ratio with standard cash, leading some students to opt out of purchasing meal plans.
According to the Penn Dining website, the new discount is being applied at six campus dining locations. Business Services officials say that retail dining locations on Penn's campus, such as Tortas Frontera and Beefsteak, have franchised agreements with the university through food service provider Bon Appetit and are thus not eligible for the 5% discount.
Last year Penn reported having some 4,300 students on a dining plan, most of which were undergraduates living in on-campus housing. These students also have the option of using cash, credit or bursar on campus, so the new dining dollar discount is intended to provide added value in the dining plans.
The dining dollar discount is one of a number of changes being made to Penn’s dining system this year. Joining the discount are extended dinner hours and the addition of a new dining location that features community dining.