Even with today’s increased focus on family and social activities, casual settings and relaxed rules, we shouldn’t forsake those who might just want to be left alone.
My father had a standard answer whenever he was asked what he wanted for his birthday or Christmas: “Peace and quiet.” That came to mind when I saw Fortune magazine’s recent article on “The latest trend in luxury resorts: Silence.”
Of course, this coming from Fortune, the article focused mostly on people who go to five-star properties in places like Turks and Caicos, and who want their escapes from noise to come in the form of Zen gardens and meditation rooms.
But the article also contained some interesting nuggets about trends that related more to the everyday world:
• Hotels are devoting major dollars in restoration projects to achieving better noise reduction, through steps such as double layers of drywall, extra padding underneath carpets, drop-down door seals and TVs that are programmed so they can’t exceed a certain volume.
• Amtrak’s “Quiet Car” concept was actually first conceived when a group of commuters persuaded a conductor to institute it, and it proved to be so popular that it’s now a highly in-demand feature on all of the railroad’s most heavily traveled routes.
All this got me to thinking that even with today’s increased focus on family and social activities, more casual settings and relaxed rules, which even the most traditional clubs are displaying, we shouldn’t forsake those who might just want to be left alone.
And in fact, it might even be good for business to spend some time thinking about how you can make sure your club is also as inviting and appealing as possible to the hermit-leaning segments among not only your existing members, but also your potential ones.
Do you have enough quiet areas and zones that you can show to people, if you get the sense that their interest in being part of a club stems at least in part from knowing it will be a place they can use reliably to get away from it all? Do you have any “nap rooms” available that could be promoted (and charged for) as one of the best reasons to come to the club? Is your service staff properly tuned in to make sure single diners are still given the proper attention when they want it—and to not be bothered when they don’t?
Fortune’s article actually said, “People will pay a lot of money for some peace and quiet.” My father made it clear he’d gladly take it for free. Somewhere in between, there may be a good opportunity for every club property.