The Mira Bear Brunch at The Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. offered young members the opportunity to build their own teddy bears and choose their favorite foods from a special buffet built just the right height for them while adults had their own buffet table and fare.
Every Christmas and Hanukkah season, The Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., hosts top-tier, family-centric events for members and their children or grandchildren. Last year, the Mira Bear Brunch gave young ones the opportunity to build their own teddy bears and choose their favorite foods from a special buffet built just the right height for them while adults had their own buffet table and fare.
“By far, this event was one of the most well-attended and best received,” says Zach Recckio, the club’s Restaurant Manager.
The bespoke event was the inspiration of Keeley Abramo, Director of Catering and Events. Lindsay D’Eredita, Catering and Events Assistant, ordered the bear-making kits from Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop. Originally, D’Eredita ordered 180 kits, but when the reservations started pouring in, she ordered an extra 20. The bulk discounted price of the bears was between $12 and $14 apiece.
“The average age of our membership is around 65 and, especially at holiday times, they bring their grandchildren to the club,” says Recckio.
Most of the children who participated in the teddy bear brunch were between the ages of four and seven.
For the event, the lounge was transformed into a bear workshop with various stations. Children got to choose from three different bears of various colors. Next was the stuffing station.
The next station was a “wish station” where each child would choose a star representing the bear’s heart, and wish upon the star. The star was then placed inside the teddy bear and sewn up. Finally, the children named their new special friends and filled out birth certificates for them. The certificates were made by the club and featured its logo.
Following the bear construction was a lavish brunch with separate buffet tables for the children and the adults. Kid favorites on their buffet included teddy bear-shaped pancakes and a cereal bar with favorite cereals and milks so they could create their own special bowl. The adult buffet included smoked salmon, omelets, hot breakfast sides and a yogurt bar.
“Member cost for the two-hour event was $32 for adults, $25 per child. Food and beverage revenue was over $14,757, making this one of the most profitable brunches for the club,” Recckio says.
To execute the bear building and brunch, 25 front-of-the-house staff and 15 to 18 in the kitchen were required. No extra hires were necessary.
The club promoted the bear brunch through e-mails, including weekly calendars (Recckio pointed out that members are very responsive to e-mails). Digital signage boards also displayed flyers.
Recckio says that the club would host this event or similar event during the upcoming holiday season. Just walking around and seeing members and their families have so much fun, he adds, felt great for him and his crew.
“The only thing we would change, would be splitting the event up into multiple seatings,” he says. “That would allow us to make the process run smoother and accommodate more members.”
The Goal:To bring members and their families together for a fun and innovative event during the Christmas/Hanukkah holidays.
The Plan: Order kits to make stuffed bears that children would build and take home. Bear-making would be followed by a festive brunch with two buffet tables, one just for children and the other with more adult fare.
The Payoff: About 300 members and their families attended including about 150 children. The brunch brought in more than $14,000 in revenue for the club. A waiting list of about 150 emphasized the immense popularity of the event.