DURHAM, NC – Several food truck owners serving Duke’s campus have complained that their new locations have drastically hurt their profitability.
In preparation for the West Union’s reopening in August, food truck owners were notified in July that there would be changes to their assigned locations, which had previously been on Chapel Drive, but did not receive a final schedule until mid-August. Several truck owners, including those from Parlez-Vous Crêpe, The Humble Pig and Mixed Korean Bistro, noted that there were problems at an assigned location in the Kilgo parking lot and that they were misinformed about potential demand near the new assignment on Swift Avenue.
The food truck owners said that they requested a joint meeting with dining administrators, which was denied. Instead, each truck was granted an individual meeting.
Jody Argote, Parlez-Vous Crêpe’s owner, said her truck was sent an initial schedule in August that included 15 minutes for her truck to pack up and move between Swift and Kilgo. After responding that this was impossible, she was sent a new schedule with times on both Wednesdays and Thursdays, prompting her to cancel prior engagements on Thursdays. She was later sent a third schedule Aug. 24.
Argote attempted to access the Kilgo lot on Wednesday, but found it inaccessible because she pulls a trailer and other vehicles blocked the site.
“We live an hour away,” Argote said. “We had trailer full of food that we had to turn around and throw out. That was not only a loss of sales but also a loss of our food costs.”
Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey could not be reached despite multiple requests for comment.