Starting after spring break, students will have a new way to count calories at the Great Hall and the Marketplace.
The program, called “Simple 600,” will allow students to pick and choose different meal components that total 600 calories. The program will initially run Monday through Friday during lunch in the Marketplace and lunch and dinner in the Great Hall.
Bon Appétit Management Company, which runs both eateries, has been developing the program for approximately six months. The company operates similar calorie-counting programs at several other locations.
Bon Appétit Resident District Manager Nate Peterson and Marketing Manager Sarah McGowan announced the new meal program at the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee meeting Monday night.
“It’s a very extensive program; [it took] a lot of development to get it in place,” Peterson said. “We held a training session with chefs from all over the East Coast.”
Peterson acknowledged that “real estate is always an issue” in both facilities, adding that the stations would replace the existing vegan and vegetarian stations. He said the program would have vegetarian and vegan options, adding that all stations in both venues will soon begin offering at least one vegetarian meal option.
Franca Alphin, director of nutrition services at Student Health, said Bon Appétit worked closely with Nutrition Services on the project, adding that she predicts that the program will increase attention to vegetarian meals.
“[The pilot program] will give those meals a little bit more exposure,” Alphin said. “It’s a win-win.”
To give students a chance to evaluate the program, the Student Voice Survey—an annual questionnaire which allows students to provide feedback on Bon Appétit venues—will likely come out several weeks after the program’s implementation.
In other business:
DUSDAC members made several recommendations regarding the Student Voice Survey, which will be between 150 and 200 questions long.
When discussing the survey, sophomore Ari Ruffer encouraged questions on student fruit preferences and senior Tina Siadak pushed for the inclusion of questions about favorite salad dressings. Members also suggested Bon Appétit incorporate questions about the clamshell initiative, student dietary restrictions and Bon Appétit employees. DUSDAC members noted that employee unions have received severe criticism in the past.
The survey will be evaluating the Devil’s Bistro for the first time, and it will also critique Trinity Cafe for the first time since the start of the new meal equivalency program. The initiative, which began in the Fall, allows freshmen to redeem their meal swipes for credit at the cafe.
Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst reported that The Greek Devil will add a second cart to sell roasted nuts on the Bryan Center Plaza in upcoming weeks, as soon as the owner receives the new cart and nut toaster.
“The oven that he needs costs $3,500,” Wulforst said. “We’re very prudent with the way we spend your money. What’s the return on the investment?”