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Could Alpaca be coming to Merchants-on-Points? DUSDAC discusses path to add Peruvian restaurant to lineup

At its latest meeting Thursday, members of the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee explored how the Peruvian restaurant Alpaca might feasibly join the Merchants-on-Points program.

Alpaca previously visited DUSDAC Feb. 9, but that conversation was largely informational for the restaurant to learn about the MOP program. DUSDAC members were also concerned about the logistics for Alpaca joining, since their current infrastructure is geared more toward large-scale deliveries and catering.

However, Alpaca Catering Coordinator Laise Santos, the representative at the meeting, expressed interest in providing smaller orders under the MOP program.

"We want to show Duke appreciation because we work very closely with Duke," she said. "Duke students just really love Alpaca. I don't know what it is."

Since Alpaca's two Durham locations—one on Ninth Street and the other on Davidson Avenue—primarily deliver large catering orders, their team does not currently have the drivers that might be necessary for quicker student orders. However, DUSDAC co-chair Julia Medine, a senior, suggested that Alpaca could meet that demand by partnering with Campus Enterprises, which delivers orders for MOP vendors Sushi Love and MediTerra Grill.

Although Alpaca does have a minimum order size for its catering business, it would not enforce it if Campus Enterprises or another third-party would be able to provide delivery services, Santos noted.

Alpaca's Durham locations close at 9 p.m., which would limit the time during which Alpaca would be able to accept food points to one hour since the MOP program only operates from 8 p.m. onward. However, Medine noted that their closing time likely wouldn't be a problem.

"We would prefer that you could stay open up until 10 p.m., but we've had restaurants previously on the program, and I'm sure you guys would still get business in the hours that you would still stay open," she said.

If Alpaca did join the MOP program, Santos said that the restaurant owners might be open to extending hours based on demand.

"If it brings them enough business, I'm wondering if they'd be wiling to keep one of the businesses open in Durham until 10 p.m.," Santos said.

Going forward, Medine said she would get in touch with Campus Enterprises to discuss whether they would consider taking on delivery for Alpaca and would update Santos accordingly.

In other business

DUSDAC is coordinating with Duke Student Government to offer a utensil amnesty day where students can return utensils that they may have stolen without penalty. The move is a response to many vendors at West Union other campus locations reporting significant numbers of missing utensils.

Medine said that the restaurant Thrive, which opened on Central Campus in January, ordered 10,000 forks for their opening but has already run out due to students taking them from the location. 


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