Duke community members will have the opportunity to emulate sandwich-munching Jared Fogle this fall when national sandwich franchise Subway moves into Breyer's ice cream location near the Great Hall.
The new venture, which could begin operation as soon as Labor Day, is just one of many changes ARAMARK Corp. is planning for dining services in the fall, in its second year since taking over the University's dining services. Other changes include new menu items at the Great Hall, the Oak Room and the East Campus Marketplace, as well as different hours.
ARAMARK District Manager David Randolph said students have been asking for a Subway since he arrived at Duke last year. "We do dorm visits and at almost every one of them, someone asks if we can bring in a Subway," Randolph said.
Although the franchise will assume Breyer's location, the station will still offer some ice cream flavors and shakes, and longtime Duke employee Arthur Brodie will still operate the station, albeit with some help.
With Subway's arrival, the Great Hall's deli will be replaced with a cold-wrap station. Meanwhile, the World's Fare and Home Style stations will switch locations, to allow for a char-grill for cooking steaks, fresh seafood and other items.
In the Oak Room, Randolph said appetizers, sandwiches and milkshakes will be added to the lunch menu. The dinner menu will maintain its more expensive entrées and add rotating dishes like ostrich, venison and lobster. Less expensive items also will be added, however, and the eatery hopes to stay open in the early afternoon to allow customers to enjoy the bar and discounted appetizers in a pre-dinner atmosphere.
Junior Isaac Dolgovskij, co-chair of the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee, said the group is still concerned about the Oak Room's status and would prefer the dinner menu reflect franchise restaurants' options.
"What's the point of getting a $20-steak at the Oak Room when you can get the same steak at Chili1s for $12?" Dolgovskij said.
ARAMARK is also adjusting menu options at The Marketplace, which provides 12 meals a week for freshmen on East Campus. The cafeteria finished last place out of 19 campus eateries when DUSDAC surveyed students in April. The Great Hall ranked 12th and the Oak Room, 17th. The deli at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy placed first in the survey.
"We worked very closely with ARAMARK during this past year,"
Randolph said The Marketplace's ranking would be expected because of the meal plan there. Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst added that the poll was valuable as a student popularity indicator but that future surveys would evaluate establishments based on sanitation, food and merchandising and service skills.
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Wulforst was satisfied with ARAMARK's performance over the past year but looked forward to the new changes, as well as renovations to the West Union building that were postponed until next summer.
Duke Student Government, DUSDAC's umbrella organization, reapproved the ARAMARK contract in April, despite vocal opposition from students concerned with student-employee relations and employee working conditions.
"We are always continuing training," Randolph said. "We will have a large meeting in August with all of the employees to review benefits."