11 Badass Bullet Points on Vigilante’s Future Menu
When I was a kid no game night was complete without passing around a bag of Doritos and a liter of Mountain Dew. While our tastes have (mostly) grown with us, food is still integral to our social gatherings. Vigilante is no different: if we want people to bond over games the food we pair with the experience is crucial. We always held this as an important value, but our recent survey validated these assumptions:
- “The quality of the food/drink will determine how often we come.”
- “The quality of the food is more important than the type. It is what will determine whether we come once or twice a year, or a few times every month.”
- “I think there should be a menu that is all its own and everything prepared from the kitchen on site so people can be excited not only for the games but the unique menu and delicious food that comes with a fun atmosphere.”
We have been putting a lot of thought into our menu design and have selected a few “guideposts” that will help us create specific items. To understand our thinking, check out the data our patrons have given to us:
- 81% of respondents say that it is important or crucial for Vigilante to serve items that are clean and easy to eat while gaming
- 73% of respondents say they would consider buying appetizers, compared to 52% who said they would buy bar snacks and 42% who would buy entrees
- Our top five requested food genres (from most to least) are: Bar Snacks, Healthy Choices, Gourmet Sandwiches, Pizza, and Charcuterie. Trailing behind these is American Bar Food.
- 71% of respondents say they would stay at Vigilante for 3-4 hours per visit
Between our data and the conversations we’ve had with potential patrons, here are our top 4 guideposts for Vigilante menu items:
- Food must be eaten easily with one hand or utensil
- Food can’t be drippy, overly greasy, or otherwise messy
- Plates small enough to snack on or be combined with other plates to create an entree
- High quality choices that range from healthy to hearty
How will we apply these guidelines to craft a menu? While our final menu will have 15-20 choices, we’ve taken a second to highlight a few items we’re excited about.
*Disclaimer: we will be hiring a professional Chef to aid us in putting together our full menu. Everything from here on out is speculation!*
Example 1: A high quality pair of all beef wagyu sliders on sweet hawaiian rolls. By taking the classic pub burger and miniaturizing it, a patron could order one plate for themselves as an easy to eat snack while they play or double up and add a side to make a large entree. We can also miniaturize pizza in fancy pizza rolls or bagels (Editor’s note: #tbt, French bread pizza is my guilty pleasure). Plus, who doesn’t want gourmet Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed pizza bites!?
Example 2: Gaming is a social experience. It is about enjoying a shared event with others, so the idea of having menu items that can be shared is really appealing to us. Therefore, we could also provide party platters to go with a pitcher of beer, where we include 8 – 12 sliders or pizza bagels on a tray that patrons can pass around and enjoy together! Smaller plates are easy to expand for groups.
Example 3: Bar Jars. Our tables will have cup holders large enough to accommodate a mason jar, which we could carry in tall and short sizes. We love the idea of serving bar snacks like mixed nuts, granola, chips, and warm soft pretzels in conveniently stored jars at the table. This concept also applies to salads and even appetizers: wedge cut french fries, popcorn chicken, veggies & hummus, mac and cheese, and loaded mashed potatoes can all be served in jar.
And don’t forget dessert in a jar! Banana pudding, molten brownie sundaes, beer milkshakes, fudge brownies, churros and more can all be served deliciously in bar jars.
Part of the dream of Vigilante is taking the best parts of being a kid and re-envisioning them as the best, most badass and classiest version for grownups. Our food should be no different: we want an audaciously nerdy menu that draws a smile while offering an excellent variety of choices. Providing high quality food that melds seamlessly with gaming will redefine how people enjoy socializing over games.
We look forward to
dining nerding with you.
By day, Preston Swincher is a public speaker and management consultant on Generation Y. In past lives he has been a Front of House manager, bartender, waiter, server trainer, busser and an accidental cook. He enjoys Magic: The Gathering, PC gaming, League of Legends, Dungeons and Dragons and plays a mean Cylon. By night he is The Keeper of the Bar, setting standards high and coordinating the design and execution of the Vigilante Identity and Mission.