DUSDAC reviews food truck survey, West Union plans
The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee is continuing its work to identify students’ favorite—and least favorite—food trucks.
DUSDAC co-chair Chris Taylor, a senior, informed the committee at their meeting Monday that they had received 248 responses to the survey they emailed to the student body last week. The survey allows participants to rank both current trucks and ones that are under consideration for future contracts. Taylor noted that DUSDAC plans to leave the survey open until Sunday and hopes to get 600 responses, which would represent 10 percent of the undergraduate student body.
“Right now the highest rated is [crepe truck] Parlez-Vous Crepe—35 percent have them ranked as first,” Taylor said. “Of the potential trucks, [macaroni and cheese truck] Mac-Ur-Roni is slightly ahead of [sandwich truck] Deli-icious.”
Mexican food truck Captain Poncho’s is currently the lowest ranked, Taylor said. He noted, however, that this could be due to a lack of awareness about the truck.
Duke Student Government President-Elect Lavanya Sunder, a sophomore, attended the meeting and said she would write an official Fix My Campus post on Facebook encouraging students to take the survey.
“Right now, we’re halfway there with the survey and we are still looking for ways to distribute it,” Taylor said.
Junior Gregory LaHood noted that timing would be important to increase participation.
“People are more likely to do it when they’re procrastinating at around 10 p.m,” he said.
Taylor said that he had discerned important areas of the survey results. Beyond average rank, Taylor noted that it is important to examine the number of times a food truck is ranked at the top or at the bottom.
Junior Eugenie Dubin added that distribution and variance are also equally important.
Students who responded have also used the comment section on the survey to voice their opinions and expectations for potential venues next year. For example, Taylor identified a continuing trend of students asking about Chipotle delivery and whether it might join Merchants-on-Points in the future.
“We definitely want the results of the survey for our meeting next Monday so we can begin to make our recommendation,” Taylor said.
Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey spoke to DUSDAC members about the recent developments on West Union renovations.
He noted that an open house showcasing the blueprints Monday afternoon had a smaller turnout than he would have liked, but he added that the attendees asked good questions and were interested in the project. Images of the plans for each level of the building were displayed, and administrators and architects were present to discuss the progress of the renovations.
“We finally know where the venues will go in building and we’re now really starting the design of those venues,” Coffey said. “We have placement and a food consultant, so we’re starting those conversations.”
The process of developing equipment for the dining venues will also be important, he noted.
“Construction—or rather, deconstruction—has started. It will all be happening very quickly,” he said.
Coffey mentioned a three-year strategic plan that he and his team at Duke Dining developed over Spring Break, noting that the plan will be implemented starting now and continue through the opening of West Union on Jan. 11, 2016. He added that the dining venues would have a soft opening on the Thursday and Friday prior to the actual opening day.
“It’s on the calendar right now and we’re hoping that we can stick to it.” Coffey said.
Coffey also noted that DUSDAC would be instrumental in choosing the vendors for West Union next year.