As we get closer to the start of football season on September 9, we'd like to share with you the results of the survey we conducted last month and how we plan to address the concerns that you noted.
First of all, you overwhelmingly confirmed the reason we do this: the game is the thing. The food, DJ, and all that stuff is secondary to the game itself. You come to the Harp each week to watch the Bills with fellow fans, and fostering that atmosphere will continue to be our number one concern.
As for the gameday experience itself...
* We've decided to stop offering the free halftime buffet. You told us in the survey that it while it was nice, it wasn't all that important to you, and logistically it was getting hard to pull it off. The line was too long, and interfered with traffic flow through the bar. You told us that standing in line for a good part of the second or third quarter, just to get some free wings, wasn't really worth it. The quality of the food suffered, too, because of the time it took to serve so many people. Instead of a buffet, the Harp will be providing a discounted "bar menu" with all your favorites: wings (of course), sliders, etc. We feel that this will improve the quality of the wings you receive -- they won't be sitting around in a warming tray -- and it will also eliminate the logistical challenges caused by the lines. We know that this decision might be upsetting for some, so we'll reevaluate it in a few weeks, see how it's working, and adjust if necessary.
* Many of you brought up the fact that it's tough to get a seat when the bar is crowded. To help this situation, the Harp will be opening up the downstairs dining room for the first month of the season and as long as attendance warrants it. We think this will address some of your concerns about getting a table. Also, the Harp will open at 11 am this year on game days.
* As for the beer selection, we are investigating getting Blue Light on tap and serving Blue in bottles. If we can't make that happen, we'll do the same thing we did last year and serve Blue on tap and Blue Light in bottles. The Harp will also offer craft beer selections and we are investigating whether or not we can get some of the Buffalo favorites -- Flying Bison, Genesee, etc -- on the taps too.
* Most everyone likes the DJ and thought the volume and music selection was pretty much right on. We are, however, working on some more Buffalo-themed pieces and of course, the Shout! song will remain.
* Several folks observed that a significant number of people at the Harp on gamedays are not hooked in to club's messaging and thus might be missing important announcements about events or gameday policies (specials, ordering food in specific seating areas, etc). To that end, we will be increasing our efforts to expand our mailing list and Facebook presence. When we sell or give out our swag (tee shirts and the like), we'll be asking for email addresses and reminding people to follow us on Facebook to help keep any new members in the loop. It's not just about announcements and policies though. We will also be picking a random Facebook or Four Square checkin on gameday and the winner will receive a Harp gift card.
* Speaking of swag, we will be offering new tees, with a crazy cool new design and in both mens and womens styles. Keep an eye out for the new pint glasses, too!
* And finally, we'll be hosting the annual Charity Day (with Beef on Weck) on December 2, when the Bills take on the Jaguars. Mighty Taco Day makes its triumphant return on October 21 when the Bills play the Titans.
We're all very excited for the coming season and we think it will be a great one on the field and at the Harp. As always, please reach out to us if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. We're here to make "Buffalo Game Day" the very best experience it can be and we're grateful for your support over the years.
Thanks... and GO BILLS!
Tim, Jeff, Chris and George