At its latest meeting, Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee met with Patricia Jenkins Eder, owner of Divinity Cafe, to discuss improvements and suggestions for the eatery.

Eder noted that Divinity Cafe has been able to maintain its revenue goals this year despite increased competition from West Union, citing to older undergraduates and graduate students as consistent customers. She expressed an interest in drawing in more first-years and said that such efforts could help sustain Divinity Cafe once upperclassmen graduate.

"When you go into a classroom, you take a seat, and you pretty much stay in that seat. So if we have [first-years] coming in and sitting at [West Union], chances are they're not going to come sit at the Cafe, and we lose that percentage of the population,” Eder said.

Sophomore Will Hardee, vice-president of services in Duke Student Government, suggested that Divinity Cafe offer a special, low-priced luncha strategy that Devil's Krafthouse recently adopted.

Since first-years are often limited in food points, such an option could be more inviting to potential customers, he explained. 

Robert Coffey, executive director of dining services, added that Duke Dining is working with vendors to introduce more “value meals” across campus.

The committee's members also praised the quality of Divinity Cafe food, with a particular emphasis on its egg offerings at breakfast.

Eder explained that breakfast is becoming the largest source of the Divinity Cafe’s revenues, attributing this popularity to the quality of their options.

Unlike some other eateries on campus, the Divinity Cafe serves fresh eggs sourced from local farms, Eder said. She added that in a typical week, the Divinity Cafe serves approximately 300 dozen eggs.

Going forward, Eder said that the Divinity Cafe hopes to continue implementing student preferences in their menu design.

“We want to make sure that you guys are getting the foods that you like. We’re more about comfort foods,” she said. “If someone has a particular favorite food, and you miss it, we may not be able to make it like your aunt or your mother or your father, but we'll try." 

Eder said that the Divinity Cafe will begin to serve their buffalo macaroni and cheese dish—which she described as one of the restaurant's most popular offerings—regularly on Wednesdays.

One DUSDAC member suggested holding a recipe contest, which would allow students to submit family recipes and have the entire student body vote on their favorite. The winning recipe would be served to customers.

DUSDAC members also noted that the Divinity Cafe is an attractive option for student athletes, many of whom visit the restaurant for breakfast after morning training. 

Recognizing student athletes' importance as customers, Eder explained that she is currently working with the athletics department to secure a more formal partnership.

In other business:

Coffey said Duke Dining will soon finish plans for renovations of Cafe Edens in McClendon. He added that the University is also considering designs for an eatery at the 300 Swift Apartments, a recent Duke purchase.

Hardee noted that Parking and Transportation Services is open to the idea of having a food truck park on East Campus for first-year students and will consider options for potential locations. 

Correction: A previous version of this article said that Duke Dining was creating plans for a new eatery in McClendon. Dining is actually planning for renovations of Cafe Edens. Patricia Jenkins' name has been changed to Patricia Jenkins Eder. The Chronicle regrets the errors.