Photo: The students visited Dans at Green Hills to experience fine dining from a customer perspective prior to their pop-up restaurant event. Pictured (left to right) are Rosainy Guerrero, Abigail Sentz, Kaylie Gimblet, Natalie Kocevar, Brooke Chiappetta, Emily Lappas and Jacob Makosch.
WYOMISSING, Pa. —The annual Penn State Berks pop-up, fine-dining restaurant event is currently taking reservations for its annual dinner, 5–9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, in the first floor lobby of the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building, Penn State Berks. Seating is limited and reservations are required by calling 610-396-6314. Callers should indicate time (5–8:30 p.m.), entrée preference and food allergies when making their reservation. In addition, meals can be ordered “to go” in advance. The event is open to the general public, and the cost is $39 per person.
Students in the college’s hospitality management baccalaureate degree program, under the supervision of Chef Michael Schaeffer, will present a four-course meal and a night to remember. This year, students chose to name their restaurant “Daylight Bistro,” as an ode to the end of Daylight Savings Time.
The four-course dinner includes choice of braised short ribs, cacio e pepe chicken, or fall ratatouille, a vegetarian option. The menu also includes seasonal charcuterie as an appetizer and choice of an autumn salad or potato kale soup. Dessert includes choice of molten lava cake or snickerdoodle cobbler.
The pop-up restaurant is the result of the capstone course titled “Advanced Food Production and Service Management,” part of the college’s hospitality management program. The concept was developed by Dr. Pauline Milwood, assistant professor of hospitality management at Penn State Berks. She explains that students were tasked with planning, developing and running a pop-up restaurant.
“The Fall 2021 course curriculum was modified to expose students to the high-uncertainty climate facing several of our industry partners and restaurateurs,” explains Milwood. “With safety and environmental health key components of this immersive learning project, our hospitality management students are navigating situations of entrepreneurial risk, and honing key decision-making skills for life beyond Penn State Berks.”
“Creating the pop-up has been a stressful but enlightening experience,” comments Emily Lappas. “It really brings insight to what restaurant managers have to go through during day- to-day operations; and even more through covid protocols. It has been an eye opener and I’m enjoying learning hands-on along the way.”
To prepare for the pop-up restaurant event, the students had an opportunity to dine at Dans of Green Hills to experience fine dining from a customer perspective.
Brooke Chiappetta states, “We were fortunate to have the opportunity to observe additional skills that pertain specifically to fine dining whilst at Dans at Green Hills. Here we saw how to execute appropriate decorum and etiquette to restaurant guests. With our team’s dedication and passion, we eagerly look forward to showing everyone what we can do.”
The students in the course are all seniors majoring in hospitality management. They include: Brooke Chiappetta of Phoenixville, Kaylie Gimblet of Brodheadsville, Rosainy Guerrero Rijo of Reading, Natalie Kocevar of Wyomissing, Emily Lappas of Spring City, Jacob Makosch of Reading, and Abigail Sentz of Red Lion.
The event was made possible by funding from the Elsa L. and John W. Bowman Curriculum Endowment.
“I personally love this experience creating a pop-up restaurant with fellow hospitality management majors. We all have different career goals within the hospitality industry like wanting to be a restaurant manager, spa manager, or an event and wedding planner when we graduate. However, we all came together not only to get a good grade for a class, but rather to create an innovative pop-up restaurant experience no one has seen before and will enjoy,” summarizes Jacob Makosch.
For more information or to make reservations, contact Milwood at 610-396-6314 or [email protected].
About the Penn State Berks Hospitality Management degree
The hospitality industry is a major economic driver in the Berks County area, and the hospitality management degree program is offered in response to demand for graduates with degrees in the hospitality industry. Penn State Berks is the only campus outside University Park to offer the degree program with the entrepreneurship option.
The hospitality management degree program helps to prepare students for management positions in hotels, restaurants, resorts and other hospitality organizations. It also provides a sound background for students who plan to pursue graduate studies.