Penn Dining spring 2021: Four takeaways

As students return to campus, dining services has adopted measures to support new safety and public health protocols at both residential and retail cafés on campus.

A student wearing a mask orders food from a food service worker wearing a mask at a Penn Dining location.
Penn Dining is supporting safety efforts with protocols in place for Spring 2021.

Move-in for undergraduate students is slated to take place from Jan. 10 to Jan. 17. As part of a comprehensive public-health program aimed at bringing students back to campus, minimize COVID-19 virus transmission, and keep the Penn community and Philadelphia neighborhood safe and healthy, Penn Dining is supporting the effort with protocols in place for Spring 2021.

The contactless PennEats app is designed to allow students to safely schedule arrival times at residential cafes and order meals offered through Penn Dining’s retail cafés. Whether students are on a dining plan or not, Penn Dining Cafés start opening Jan. 10. To support the new dining protocols, which require that all meals be to-go, the University is also providing one microfridge, a mini-fridge/freezer and microwave, in each on-campus room or suite without a kitchen or kitchenette. For apartments with kitchens, the University will be providing microwaves.

Here are four takeaways on Penn Dining Spring 2021:

Students on a dining plan have full access to Penn Dining during the Quiet Period

The University is requiring all returning students to complete a 14-day precautionary travel quarantine designed to meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s highest health and safety standards and follow guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the City of Philadelphia. To support this measure, the University has set up a Quiet Period that runs through Feb. 1. While activities during this time are limited, acceptable activities include picking up food, prescriptions, packages, and visiting testing sites. Even during the Quiet Period students can schedule an arrival time to get a meal in one of the residential cafés or order a grab and go meal for pickup at one of Penn Dining’s retail cafés using the PennEats app.

Residential dining locations will offer fresh meals and ample dining choices

Residential dining cafés will be preparing meals and packaging them in-house. Using a pick five program, students will schedule an arrival time for each meal period using the PennEats app. On arrival, students will then be able to choose one entrée, three sides, and a beverage from a menu of options. The menu includes vegan and vegetarian offerings. Special dietary needs or concerns are also able to be addressed and may be directed to Dan Connolly, the campus registered dietitian nutritionist.

Safety and public health protocols are required at all Penn Dining Cafés

Penn residential and retail cafés are adhering to all campus health guidelines. Masks are required at all Penn Dining facilities. For physical distancing, entering and exiting signage is marked. Penn Dining employees are required to have daily health checks, and students are required to complete daily health checks via PennOpen Pass and to show a Green Open Pass when visiting any Penn residential or retail café.

Dining room seating is closed during the Quiet Period

While residential and retail cafés are open, dining room seating areas will be closed through the end of the Quiet Period. Students will be expected to pick up their meal and eat in their rooms through the end of the quiet period Feb. 1. When allowed and appropriate, plans are in place to migrate to 30-50% of seating capacity to allow for physical distancing using a reservation system if needed.

Additional information on Penn Dining with Frequently Asked Questions may be found on the Spring 2021 dining site. Penn Dining has also created a video to explain how to download and use the PennEats app.