Student run buisnesses re-open


Photo by Veronica Langrehr

Students and advisors take orders for the Panther Perk through Google Forms and coordinate the daily operation of the Perk.

Veronica Langrehr, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Senior Bistro and Panther Perk are student-run businesses at Central York High School (CYHS) that have reopened for the 2021-2022 school year as cases of COVID-19 decreased. The new school year began with a more normal approach. This allowed student-run businesses to operate freely or with a few restrictions. 

Finally reopening after a year closure, the Senior Bistro is a restaurant opened for seniors and staff that operates every other Wednesday in the cafeteria. 

“Customers tend to be surprised that we have options for seniors,” said culinary teacher Stephanie Crump. 

Crump has been working at CYHS for 14 years and became the staff leader for the Senior Bistro. This idea was developed to be a program that offers a real-world culinary experience. The Bistro is run by culinary one and two students and this year it is a whole new group of students taking the lead.

 “It’s a fresh start,” Crump stated.

Students gain valuable life skills, especially for those considering culinary careers. It also gives the chefs a real-world audience and brings hands-on learning to the classroom. 

“It’s nice to see students working hard and taking pride in what they’re serving,” explained Crump. 

They learn about culinary and job skills through student leadership. They are even required to interview for head positions in the Bistro like head chefs, sous-chefs, business manager and marketing directors. 

In order to maintain safety, everyone goes through serve-safe training in order to ensure food and operational safety in the kitchen. 

Crump reflected on the impact the Senior Bistro has on students by saying, 

“I think it gives them a new appreciation for what the lunch ladies do,” she said. 

The perks continue at the CYHS Panther Perk which offers hot beverages to students and teachers. Chris Sparks, CYHS teacher, helps with the operation and student-staff workers of the Perk. He has been working with CYHS for five years. Sparks assists in oversight of the Perk, the reopening this year and has helped with challenges of transitioning from teacher deliveries to full-time operation. Figuring out the logistics of running a business has been the largest obstacle for the staff. 

The Perk is a student-developed business idea that serves hot coffee, tea and hot chocolate in order to teach students basic work skills. 

“I think it is a great student run program; it definitely has some value to it,” Sparks said. 

Sparks helps run the 18-21 program in CYHS where these students utilize the “Perk.” He details this as a “more supported employment experience” where the staff will clock in as a typical job, take breaks, apply for positions and go through an interview process. 

“You’re able to simulate a real life work experience in a lot more genuine and natural way,” Sparks explained. 

They will hear similar language when working and this experience teaches them time management, the value of money, responsibility and accountability. They work as a team to complete goals and run the business. 

“They’re a part of something bigger than themselves…it’s about a whole team aspect,” he said.

Through the reopening of the Senior Bistro and Panther Perk, CYHS highlights the value of student preparation for the real world while also offering programs that celebrate students of the school.