It’s 2 a.m. and you’re beginning to get a hunkering in your stomach. You don’t feel like making food or driving around to find a 24/7 drive-thru that might not satisfy your appetite. All of the local delivery places are closed, what are you going to do? Well, you’re going to pick up the phone, dial 910-798-4999, and order from one of the most innovative, newest establishments in our community: Munchies Food Co. They are open 7 days a week from 12 p.m. until 3 a.m., allowing customers to dine in until 10 p.m. and to order food for delivery or take out until 3 a.m. Their motto is simple: “You get them. We fill them.”
Located in the University Landing Shopping Center, within walking distance from the UNCW campus, Munchies has a clear interest in attracting the college student population. There is a direct connection between UNCW and Munchies as it was started by two brothers and graduates of UNCW. When they opened the doors in September 2014, they had one goal: “To provide delicious, unique, and affordable food at the times you want it most. Offering a one of a kind menu and late night delivery, we at Munchies are here to satisfy your cravings, whenever they may occur.” As former UNCW students, they were able to more readily analyze their target audience and produce a mouthwatering menu to attract nearly any college student. They offer a variety of drinks, fries, sauces, sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Along with the menu being very aesthetically appealing with bright colors and vivid font (as seen below), it includes three creatively thought out sections on the menu: Munchies, Fat Sandwiches, and Desserts.
The word ‘munchies’ has a different connotation in certain groups (cough, cough), but it is accurately defined as food suitable or meant for snacking. While the owners of Munchies Food Co. used that play on words to their advantage in attracting attention, their Munchies section is certainly meant for snacking as it includes items like jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, mac & cheese wedges, and onion rings. Their Fat Sandwiches section is the most popular and are not quit the ‘sandwiches’ that one has come to know. The only similarity between Munchies Food Co. Fat Sandwiches and regular sandwiches is that they are served on bread with lettuce, tomato, and onion. However, these sandwiches contain an abundance of different fillers including chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, cheese whiz, onion rings, gyro meat, and even fries! Their most expensive Fat Sandwich and my personal favorite is the Fat Mess. This smorgasbord of a sandwich contains jalapeno poppers, onion rings, chicken fingers, bacon, mozzarella sticks, burger, gyro meat, and fries! It truly lives up to its name. Pictured below is an example of the very popular Fat Joint, which contains chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, and fries.
If that doesn’t sound filling enough, imagine trying to eat 3 fat sandwiches in 30 minutes. Munchies Food Co. presents this very challenge to their customers every day. Known as the ‘Name Your Own’ challenge, if someone can complete all three sandwiches in the allotted 30 minutes, they earn the right to create and name their very own fat sandwich for their menu and have their photo put on Munchies Food Co.’s Wall of Fame. The image below shows a contestant who finished the ‘Name Your Own’ challenge in 13 minutes and 21 seconds!
They offer another challenge known as the ‘Basket of Fire’. The competitor has 15 minutes to eat a pound of fries and four chicken tenders tossed in inferno sauce, covered with jack and cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and topped with even more inferno sauce. Competitors may use dipping sauces and drinks. Taking every precaution, all competitors must sign a waiver before taking the challenge. Winners have their meal paid for and also get their photo put on Munchies Food Co.’s Wall of Fame. Making it a memorable experience regardless, the employees will still take one’s picture at the end of an unsuccessful challenge and put it on their Wall of Shame. Far more make it on the Wall of Shame than the Wall of Fame.
These enticing challenges are just one of many ways that Munchies Food Co. attracts a younger customer base and spreads from word of mouth. Munchies Food Co.’s affordable and delectable Dessert section also plays a major part in drawing in customers. Straying from the classic milkshake that Sonics, Cookout, McDonalds, etc. has used for years to entice younger customers, Munchies Food Co. offers a staple from the state fair: Deep-Fried Twinkies. Their innovation is again evident as they also offer deep-fried Reeses, Twix, Snickers, Oreos, and Cookie Dough.
The two brothers that created this company were smart:
- They chose a good location using local knowledge
- They used an aesthetically appealing menu with various and innovative food items designed to match their target audience
- They offer easy accessibility with extended hours and delivery
- They recognize the importance of affordability to a college student
- They use a different take on classic challenges to draw customers in
- They effectively use social media and word of mouth as marketing strategies
- They created an app for tablets and smartphones
- They give UNCW students a 10% discount when they show their one card
- They offer random daily specials
- They are an active voice in the community and run promotions with different local philanthropy events
Check out their website at http://www.munchiesfoodco.com/ or their social media accounts:
Stay hungry for more posts on local restaurants in Wilmington this week!
– Griffin Weidele, Austin Moody, Luci Keefer, Allen Wooten, Scott Uraro
This is very well written, informative article. Even though I have yet to dine at Munchies myself, I of course have heard small rumors about how delicious the restaurant is. This article gave me all the information I needed and then some to take the dive and visit as soon as possible. My mouth began to water early on as I began to read the article and by the end my stomach was literally growling at me to feed it with some Munchies deep fried Oreos.
Great restaurant. I’ve heard the background of the restaurant before and I like that the two founders are former students of UNCW. Their knowledge of the college diet combined with a location close to the campus really makes this restaurant stand out among other fast food chains. Although it is a bit expensive, I sometimes don’t mind paying extra for something that was marketed well and tastes unique and delicious.
I love how Munchies has taken food combinations that sound really weird together and made them delicious. My roommate is actually on his way to attempt the sandwich challenge right now. I know how he eats and I don’t think it will be much of a challenge.
I love the story behind Munchies; their marketing strategy is spot on and really appeals to their target audience. I must say, personally I’m not a huge Munchies fan but I know a lot of people who get food from there on the weekends. Very interesting to read about; I had no idea about their food challenges!
I never knew munchies was started by UNCW students. They would have a better idea about UNCW students and what they want then other people. Really interesting post
I agree with you, the guys that opened Munchies took full advantage of not only their name but the location. After being in Wilmington for college they already knew how to market to kids just like them. They also know students love to snack late night.