A change to the Merchants on Points program next semester could make both students and delivery people happier.
Early next spring, Dining Services will experiment with electronic tipping for two MOP restaurants, said junior Alex Klein, Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee co-Chair. Klein, The Chronicle’s online editor, made the announcement at DUSDAC’s Monday meeting in place of Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst, who was absent from the meeting.
Deliverers will be equipped with DukeCard readers and will be able to accept tips from students on food points, Klein said.
He added that the two restaurants that will participate in the test run have not yet been chosen.
Wulforst could not be reached for comment Monday.
Members of the committee said the new policy would benefit all parties involved, including Dining, which will receive 18 percent from each electronic tip— the same proportion Duke charges MOP eateries on sales.
DUSDAC members also discussed a more structured way to recommend potential MOP restaurants.
“Next semester, one of our primary goals will be to come up with a legitimate way of evaluating Merchants on Points so we can recommend to Dining if we really do not want a restaurant on points,” Klein said.
He added that some restaurants will have to adjust their hours to meet certain guidelines.
In other business:
The committee heard a presentation from Refectory Owner Laura Hall, who brought samples of the cafe’s new pumpkin chai tea and vegan tofu scramble for members to taste.
“We change our teas all the time, and [pumpkin chai] is our flavor for fall,” Hall said. “It will be around probably until January.”
Hall also announced that a list of all of the allergens in Refectory dishes is now available in the restaurant and on the Dining Web site.
“I have spent thousands of dollars on the software to give you an accurate reading on what you’re eating,” Hall said. “We are so strict about cross-contamination and sharing utensils, and if a server doesn’t know something they will go get a chef—there is always a chef on-site.”
Members also raised the issue of student complaints over high prices at the Refectory. Hall said the prices are necessary to cover labor costs.
“It’s an interesting balance because we have the social and environmental sustainability, and you know for seven months it’s great, and then for the other five months we struggle to support the employees we have,” she said. “The food cost, it is what it is, it’s not going to change.”