On the Job with Kyle Bischoff
Kyle Bischoff is Maverick Bullpen Program Coordinator at Minnesota State University–Mankato's Centennial Student Union.
As a game room manager, what projects, innovations, or changes have you seen as successful?
This last year, we expanded our menu by adding new appetizers to try to increase what we had to offer to students. We have already exceeded our annual projected revenue for the entire fiscal year. I think the success of this expanded menu comes from offering good, quality products at an affordable price. All of our new menu items are under $5 and are quick and easy to make. Last year, we also made large improvements to our cosmic bowling lights and brought in table tennis. I hope this year we can add a retro gaming system or maybe even an air hockey table.
Tell us about any particular challenges or issues you’ve had to deal with in your role.
I think the biggest challenges I see are the location and being ahead of social trends. Though we are centrally located in the heart of the campus, we are in the basement of the Centennial Student Union, where I think we can be forgotten at times. We do have some great clientele who use our facility regularly, but by reaching out to the other students to show them what the Bullpen has to offer, we see other challenges on what new services, games, or products we need to offer. I think students are wanting cheaper or free entertainment options close to campus. When we purchased the table tennis table this last year, we made it free play, and it is used from open to close, while some of our pay to play games are not used as much.
What's hot and what’s not in the game room right now?
Table tennis and gaming stations tend to be our most played activities. We have recently upgraded all of our gaming systems. The most popular games played are 17, Mortal Combat XL, Mario Kart 8 Plus, and Zelda Breathe of the Wild. We have also started hosting different events, including gaming tournaments and bowling leagues,and look forward to assessing their success. If you really want to have a successful event, offer free food! That is always the biggest hit with any college student.
Describe a most memorable day on the job.
The most memorable night on the job for me was an event that we hosted last year. It was a large event that rented the entire facility and had university catering. The event was well attended with close to 200 attendees. It was just a normal busy evening night until the host came up and asked how much the candy bars were. I told him the price, and he responded back, “Perfect. We will take them all.”We sold more than 200 candy bars that night. It was something I would have never expected to happen, but it was great for snack bar sales.