Mindful of how its decisions affect its vendors’ ability to also achieve sustainability again, the Atlanta club has taken extra steps to offer floral, wine to-go promotions and other amenities to its membership that are designed to help supplier partners recover as well. “It’s important to remember that the team that helps us deliver unforgettable experiences extends beyond our walls,” says Blake Parrish, Ansley’s Food and Beverage Services Manager.
As Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta continues to move toward a resumption of full operations following the restrictions that were imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, the club is making a concerted effort to take steps that will help the businesses of its supplier partners recover as well.
“It’s important to remember that the team that helps us deliver unforgettable experiences extends beyond our walls,” says Blake Parrish, Ansley GC’s Food and Beverage Services Manager. “Our interconnected economy means we are dependent on our partners for success, and they are dependent on us. As we start to reopen the economy and our clubs, we must be mindful of how our decisions impact our partners’ ability to achieve sustainability again.
“How many companies extended us grace when billing our linen pars?” Parrish asks. “Where is your pianist playing without your Sunday brunch each week? What did the florist do when you cancelled your Easter and Mother’s Day orders? Each of these businesses has undoubtedly had to make cuts of their own staff. They rely on us just as much as we rely on them.
“As the [business] forecast improves, we realize our decisions now are within our control,” Parrish says. ”How we choose to reengage our partners as we reopen will be critical to our brand reputation and success for years to come.
“At Ansley, we offered our florists’ surplus Mother’s Day inventory directly to our membership, with no surcharge,” Parrish reports. “We were amazed when we received 250 orders within hours. We spent an entire evening organizing the logistics, sourcing more flowers, and called in extra staff to execute the program through our curbside to-go service.
“This wasn’t the most frugal decision, but it made an impact in the lives of our vendor, his team, and our membership. That resonates beyond our operation.
“As we move forward with reopening, scan the environment for opportunities to include the team beyond your employees,” Parrish advises.”Reengage your partners in order of dependence, and don’t be afraid to listen to how they have been impacted.
“Likely, independent contractors have been hit the hardest,” he says. “Local businesses that deal primarily in hospitality will have endured significant strain as well. Your valet service, lifeguards, and housekeeping team may be struggling to choose between bankruptcy and unemployment benefits.
“Taking advantage of relaxed laws, we offered a calculated wine to-go promotion,” Parrish notes. “We quickly understood that it did more than thank our members for their support during the crisis. Half of our liquor reps had been laid off as on-premise sales crashed, and the resurgence helped to save more that were in danger.
“So move forward cautiously, but keep your critical partners whole,” Parrish advises. “Our sense of community should extend to business networks as well. When available, don’t avoid amenities that activate billing cycles out of sheer conservatism. Reopen collectively and compassionately. Because we really are all in this together.”
Ansley GC was featured as the cover story in C+RB’s April 2019 issue (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/merger-between-two-clubs-sets-up-ansley-gc-for-success/). The 108-year-old club has two distinct properties, one in the city of Atlanta and another acquired through a 1999 merger with the Settindown Creek Golf Club in suburban Roswell.