Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Funway burger a good fit for Mel's

Running a successful restaurant at Mel's Funway Park in Litchfield is a major challenge. The last attempt, Naticook Fish & Grill didn't work out. Not because it wasn't a good place to eat as we had previously written but it probably wasn't the best fit for Mel's. The prices were high for the area and it did not have the appeal of a younger crowd and families who are more likely to visit Mel's. Now, the same owner, Marco, is giving it another try with Funway Burger.

The name, Funway Burger says it all as the focus is on several types of different burgers. You can get them with barbecue sauce, grilled pineapple, tortilla chips and fresh mozzarella to give you an idea of some of the creations. They also have sandwiches, salads and appetizers.

My pick for the evening was the classic burger.

Served with fries, it had pickles, lettuce, onions and cheddar cheese on an 8 ounce patty. This was okay but could have been more flavorful. After dunking in ketchup the taste was much improved.

My wife got the grilled cheese burger.

She was surprised to see how big the creation would turn out to be. The burger was ordered medium and it was cooked to medium well so the flavor would have been better had it been served as ordered. She also noted that there was too much bread which took away from the burger as well.
We also got the ranch chicken tenders.

They had a nice crunch but would prefer them cooked a little less.
It is evident that the new restaurant was set up to keep costs low. The dining area is almost all tables with some high tops and although it appears to be tight it gives them more seating. There is also a small bar where beer and wine are offered. Table service has been all but eliminated except for bringing the food out to your table and cleaning up after guests depart. Fewer employees means lower labor cost to run the restaurant. Although the prices for the burgers in the $10 to $13 dollar range seem a bit high they translate to a lower cost overall for their customers and hopefully additional revenue for the owner. 
On the day that we visited the restaurant was busy and the ordering process disorganized. You enter at the front and walk to a stand near the kitchen where you are handed a menu and asked to return to place your order. After going back up to provide the details you sit down and wait for the food to be delivered to your table. The runner yells your name and then the order is brought out but the staff seemed unsure who should get certain meals. A couple of suggestions, maybe give the patron a number so it can be placed on the table then the runner knows where the food should be delivered. Second, have a host greet at the door and provide the menu at that time when seating first happens and explain everything then.
The Funway Burger concept is a good idea and the changes hopefully will provide customers a more appealing option when visiting Mel's Funway Park. We wish them good luck and with some minor improvements will be the long term success that we are all hoping for.
454 Charles Bancroft Highway
Litchfield, NH 03052