DUSDAC reviews preliminary food truck survey results
The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee is seeking student input on present and future dining preferences.
The committee met on Monday to discuss a survey that they will be sending out to gauge student body preferences of campus dining options. They also discussed student desire to have Chipotle Mexican Grill as part of the Merchants-on-Points program.
“Ideally, we will have the survey out to the student body as soon as possible,” said DUSDAC co-chair Chris Taylor, a senior. “We really want the student body’s opinion on vendors and Merchants-on-Points.”
Due to the ongoing renovations to West Union, students have been increasingly turning to food trucks and the University has responded by offering more truck options. DUSDAC will work to decide which, if any, new trucks will be added in the Fall. Taylor sent the survey out to DUSDAC members first to gauge their preferences.
The results showed that the most popular trucks—of both current trucks and prospective ones the committee has sampled this semester—were The Humble Pig and Mac-Ur-Roni, which the committee sampled on March 17. The most popular Merchants-on-Points were Enzo’s Pizza Company and Vine Sushi and Thai, which is set to be on food points next year.
Taylor said that the committee’s least favorite trucks, according to the survey, were Pie Pushers—sampled on Feb. 24—and Baguettaboutit. The least popular Merchants-on-Points are currently Dragon Gate and Palace International.
Taylor added that the most controversial vendors—meaning the ones with the most variability—were Chirba Chirba and Foster’s on the Fly in terms of food trucks and Chai’s [Noodle Bar and Bistro] for Merchants-on-Points.
In terms of the survey they will be sending out to students, members emphasized that it be short and simple. Taylor noted that they did not want participants to get “survey fatigue” from overly complicated questions. The committee also resolved that in the survey, they needed to separate existing food trucks on campus from the ones that only DUSDAC has sampled.
“People need to be able to say that they do not know what something is,” junior Matthew Foster said.
The final survey will have a question where participants can rank the seven existing food trucks on-campus and then a separate prompt where they can express interest and order the seven new food trucks under consideration, Taylor said.
The committee also discussed the recent news that Chipotle can be delivered to students through a service called Radoozle.
“Radoozle is independent and non-Duke affiliated,” Taylor said. “It processes orders for a number of on-campus vendors. Basically it facilitates the ordering process.”
When Radoozle announced that they would begin offering Chipotle delivery March 18, many students expressed excitement via Facebook and Twitter. A national chain, Chipotle has a location on Erwin Road close to West Campus.
Taylor explained that after students fill out an online order form for their meal, Radoozle employees will go to Chipotle to pick up the food and bring it to the students. He noted that organizations like Chipotle often would rather avoid such an arrangement because they risk their food quality declining in the delivery process.
“Chipotle is not delivering [itself] and it’s not accepting foods points,” Taylor said. “DUSDAC is always in conversation with them but there is no real mechanism through which we can do anything because Chipotle does not deliver its food.”
Junior Gregory Lahood inquired if the school could have a contract with Radoozle. Foster explained that the contract would actually have to be with Campus Enterprises, which is a partner of Radoozle and is responsible for the actual delivery portion of the service.
“Campus Enterprises is only tenuously involved with this Chipotle deal. Radoozle is doing it by itself,” Foster said.