Duke Dining plans to increase its marketing initiatives, extending its push to make the Penn Pavilion a dining staple on campus.
The Duke Student Dining Advisory Committee meeting on Monday focused on how to improve Duke Dining’s marketing efforts in order to reach a wider audience. Currently, Duke Dining is working to increase its social media presence and gain more Twitter followers and Facebook likes.
The administrators asked DUSDAC members for suggestions about Duke Dining’s on-campus presence. Recommendations included more in-person communication, reaching out to resident assistants, providing free food at events and collaborating with Red Mango to announce flavors of the day on the Duke Dining Twitter account.
Senior Chris Taylor, co-chair of DUSDAC, also suggested that social media posts could include special promotions such as a “Lunch Deal of the Day” or “Vegetarian Meal of the Day,” to gain online followers.
In addition, Duke Dining is now using physical signs and banners to advertise special events, reaching out to East and West Campus residential staff and hiring a student employee to distribute fliers, among other efforts.
The main focus of the marketing efforts is drawing attention to the Penn Pavilion, Marketing Manager Kirsten Marinko said.
Some students still do not know that the Pavilion is open, Assistant Director for Dining Barbara Stokes said.
“We’re doing a lot, but it seems it’s not enough,” Marinko said.
The committee is also planning for the closing of one of the plaza entrances later this fall. DUSDAC plans to give away t-shirts and coupons to attract more people to the Penn Pavilion.
Food Factory, which started serving breakfast two weeks ago, has seen an increased number of patrons, Stokes said.
“[Food Factory’s] getting busier every day,” she said. “It looks like it’s around for a while if business stays where it is.”
At the meeting, Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey announced that website “The Daily Meal” ranked Duke No. 26 out of 2,000 colleges in a list of the best college dining services published last month—an improvement to last year’s No. 29.
Coffey credited DUSDAC’s efforts for the higher rankings.
“As we’ve moved up in rankings, it’s due to this right here—the conversations we have,” he said.