A student’s take on SpO Restaurant Week



Caroline Frisoni

Last week, Special Olympics partnered with local restaurants of Bryn Mawr and Wayne for its third annual Restaurant Week fundraiser. Students dined at some of their favorite restaurants of the Main Line to support this great cause.

The University’s Special Olympics committee, otherwise known as “SpO,” is responsible for organizing the biggest student-run Special Olympics event in the world. This committee works year-round to raise money and organize every part of the Special Olympics at Villanova. The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival is an annual statewide competition that the University hosts each year. SpO’s fundraising is aimed to create a fun and memorable weekend for the athletes and their families. A great way for them to raise money is by teaming up with some of students’ favorite restaurants located only a few minutes from campus.

 This weeklong event is a great way for everyone to get involved with a worthy cause simply by having a delicious meal off campus.  Many students went in groups with their friends to the restaurants that were involved with the event. Who wouldn’t want an excuse to skip the dining hall for a night to have some Panera and frozen yogurt? Each day of the week featured a specific restaurant, or sometimes more than one, and if you mentioned “Villanova Special Olympics” or presented a flyer, a portion of that restaurant’s proceeds from the day would be donated to Special Olympics.

Panera Bread, Five Guys, Insomnia Cookies, Pinkberry, Sweetgreen, SoFun Yogurt, Zoe’s Kitchen, Bertucci’s and Snap Custom Pizza were all participants of this year’s Restaurant Week. For the last few years, SpO has contacted the same restaurants and they have always been excited to participate and be a part of this awesome cause.  This year, the two new additions to the group were SweetGreen and Snap Pizza. Everyone in SpO was really excited about these new participants because they are a couple of students’ favorite dining options. 

 SweetGreen, located in Suburban Square, is the perfect place to get a healthy salad with fresh ingredients. Snap Pizza is also located in Ardmore and is known for its custom made pizzas. Both are extremely popular among students and increased participation and fundraising during Restaurant Week. The fundraising committee, recognizing the restaurants’ popularity with students, contacted both and asked them to be a part of Restaurant Week this year. Both places were thrilled to join the growing list of restaurants featured in campaign to support Special Olympics. Restaurants love being a part of the event because it brings in customers while also allowing them to contribute to a commendable cause. 

Restaurant Week has always been a big success, but this year produced the biggest turnout yet. Students made sure to check out the restaurants each night and enjoy the variety of cuisine.  Personally, my favorite night was eating at Zoe’s Kitchen and Pinkberry, which are two places I always visit. Restaurant Week is a way for friends to get together, enjoy some of the best affordable food in the area and support a cause that has always been an integral part of the University’s community. According to SpO Evaluations Chair Ariana DiCroce, Insomnia Cookies had to shut down all of their delivery orders on the night they were featured because they had gotten an overwhelming number of orders as a result of the Special Olympics promotion.