Downtown Restaurants Provide Student Discounts

Exclusive discounts for Phillips Academy students are now available at several downtown restaurants, thanks to the efforts of Student Council and the Downtown Discount Committee. The Committee has obtained discounts from Yama, Vincenzo’s and Thai Sweet Basil. Student Council Vice President Jonathan Adler ’08 said, “We’re very proud that we’ve gotten three discounts, but I’m hopeful of obtaining more.” Adler attributes the committee’s accomplishment to the work of Executive Secretary of Student Council Joey Mensah ’08. Yama, a Japanese and Chinese restaurant, offers students a 15 percent discount on all dinners Sundays through Thursdays and a 10 percent discount on lunches. The discount does not apply for beverages. At Vincenzo’s students can receive a 25 percent discount off all dinner entrees Sundays through Thursdays and for all lunches for the remainder of the school year. Thai Sweet Basil agreed to a 10 percent flat discount for students. While checking in with the current restaurants to see how things are going, the Downtown Discount Committee is working to get discounts for Lantern Brunch and the Ultimate Perk. Students are only able to receive discounts with proper identification, and their discounts cannot be extended to other customers, such as parents. “I’ve gotten too much credit for it, because it was mostly the students in my subcommittee who got the actual discounts,” said Mensah. The Downtown Discount Committee, headed by Mensah, is one of the many subcommittees of Student Council. Getting restaurant discounts downtown for students was an objective on Mensah’s platform during last year’s student-body presidential elections. Mensah said, “I came up with the template, and we basically said [to the restaurants]: ‘Since our dining hall is under renovation, more students in PA will start ordering and eating [at restaurants] downtown, so that gave them the incentive to offer us the discounts.” While the restaurants are pleased with the attention, they have also run into some problems with the new discount policies. Donna Giang, the manager at Yama, said, “If students want the discounts for dining Sunday through Thursdays, that’s fine… but during the weekend, sit-down dinner is very problematic, especially with parents.” “I feel bad when we can’t do the discounts for the parents, and we must separate the bill. So on the weekend, we can do free ice-cream for students instead of the discounts,” she said. On all nights except Friday and Saturday nights, “takeout ordered [from Yama] can receive 10 percent off, not 15 percent, because there is a minimum for orders that need delivery,” said Giang. Giang said that she has seen “pretty much the same number of PA students” in recent weeks. Donna Williams, the manager of Vincenzo’s, said, “Well, I think we will be helping the students and it’ll be a nice place for them to come. I have seen more students come in since we’ve started having the discounts.” Vincenzo’s will decide at the end of the year whether the discounts will continue to be offered to students. “We do [discounts] for several-month intervals. It’s a continual basis…so we’ll see what happens,” said Williams. Some students agree that even with the new discounts, they are not inclined make trips downtown because of the cold weather. “Going to Yama, I can consider, but not Thai Sweet Basil – it’s just too far,” said Emily Hutcheson-Tipton ’11. Other students do not see the weather as an obstacle and think that the discounts are especially useful for ordering takeout, instead of making a trip downtown or to Uncommons. Jasmine Stovall ’10 said, “It’s nice to have discounts because everything’s a lot cheaper. Although the food at Uncommons isn’t bad, you can have better food without spending your entire wallet or weekly budget. I think I’d make more trips [downtown] on Sundays and Wednesdays and order more often.” She continued, “Thai Sweet Basil is already inexpensive and plus, now they’re giving a 10 percent flat discount; I think that’s being really generous and nice. Really exotic foods for a cheap price – Hey, I’m in.”