Tired of having to call in your order each time you want chicken and waffles, a burger or breakfast delivered? An online solution is on its way.

During its Monday night meeting, the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee met with representatives from The Loop to give feedback and discuss ways to help them broadcast deals and special events. They also heard from Robert Coffey, director of dining services, about an online option for ordering delivery from campus eateries that will soon begin pilot testing at Dame’s Express on Central Campus.

“I can tell you from a user standpoint that instead of making a phone call, the student can now go online to Dame’s Express right now,” Coffey said. “The other thing the student can do is pay, so that will cut down on, ‘Hey, I’ve got to type in my [Duke card] number.’ They can go ahead and have it prepaid, so it’s just delivery at that point.”

The online interface—which Coffey explained is not currently an app but could become one in the future—may also help with order accuracy since users will be able to directly enter their orders, instead of telling them to someone over the phone. He also noted that vendors will be able to limit the number of orders they take over the interface at any given time in order to prevent backups and long waits.

The service will only be available for delivery orders initially, but Coffey said that they will be testing options for expanding it.

The hours for delivery for Merchants-on-Points vendors will not be adjusted as a result of the new ordering system. However, users will be able to put their orders in early and “have it queued up and waiting,” Coffey explained.

“We’re shooting to get it up around Spring Break or right when we come back to test it, since this is totally a pilot test this semester,” Coffey said.

DUSDAC members also heard from The Loop's general manager Nick Monday and assistant general manager Morgan O’Connell.

Monday said that The Loop has seen a decrease in lunch sales since the opening of West Union. Although The Loop’s made-to-order food takes an average of eight minutes to be prepared after ordering, students with abbreviated lunch breaks due to class schedules may find the lunch rush line and the preparation wait to be too long. O’Connell explained that their online ordering option is a way to beat the time crunch.

“You can send it in like two hours early. You could send it in at like 10:30 in the morning and be picking it up at 11:55,” she said. “You can skip the line and come straight to that third register for grab-and-go and say, ‘I’m here to pick up my food.’ I’m going to say, ‘Great! Swipe your card, and here you go. Have a great day.’”

Some DUSDAC members said they did not know when The Loop delivers, and Monday clarified that the eatery delivers everyday from 8:30 p.m. until closing.

The confusion stemmed from way the delivery dates are listed on the Student Affairs’ Merchant-on-Points webpage , which says The Loop’s delivery days are Sunday to Monday—unintentionally conveying that they only provided the service two nights a week. Some venues like Jimmy John's with similar schedules list the dates as Sunday to Monday, while others just say “7 days a week.” 

“Sunday and Monday are almost overwhelming sometimes, and the rest of the week is just busy,” Monday said.