Sundays in January will taste a little different thanks to a slight change being made at the Vagabond Kitchen. January 4th begins a new format of service for the weekly Sunday brunch experience even though much of the experience like live weekly musical guests will remain the same.
“To be perfectly honest, I have had this itch for a long time that the buffet service wasn’t meeting my expectations as it relates to the quality that Wheeling has come to expect from the Vagabond Kitchen.”
Welsch said that while some of that is purely a result of serving from a buffet, it is also indicative of a fluctuating turnout.
“From the beginning, we’ve heard a lot of positive feedback on the idea of a Sunday brunch, but that hasn’t always translated to getting people to actually show up. Some weeks we’re packed, and others we’d have a ghost town on our hands. That makes planning and prep very difficult. We want to always provide the freshest food, but at the same time, there were a lot of weeks where we were losing our butts in food waste.”
Welsch said that after looking at the numbers and talking with the rest of the kitchen, they decided the best way to keep Sunday Brunch alive, while at the same time raising standards and eliminating waste, was to move to an a la carte brunch menu.
“I want to make sure everyone understands that most of their favorites will still be available as well as some added options that we will be able to do thanks to being able to cook things to order. If there is something that doesn’t make the menu or that people would like to see, we may also be able to offer specials much in the same way we do daily for lunch and dinner.”
One thing is clear, Sunday Brunch attendance needs to pick up to continue.
“We love offering a quality brunch to people, and there are some things we are going to do on our end to increase participation like reach out to churches and other organizations that might benefit but may not be aware it’s an option. That being said, The Kitchen can’t continue to lose money waiting for people to buy in. People love the idea of Sunday Brunch. I need people to show up and love eating the food. It’s such a great experience and a great venue for local musical artists to play and add another dining dimension. We’re making these changes in the hopes that it makes this an ongoing thing that makes sense for everyone involved.”