Change is progress and we resist it at our peril. Will Rogers famously said, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Change isn’t easy. If it were, we would keep our New Year’s resolutions for more than two or three weeks (and I am being generous here).
Change is progress, and we resist it at our peril. Will Rogers famously said, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
As we begin another new year, I am thinking about five things that delight me as a club member. This is hardly an all-inclusive list, and your club may be proficient in each of these areas; however, Will Rogers had it right.
Outstanding Service. As with art, you know it when you see it and experience it—and the cost to the club is not much more than a strong commitment from the top (leading by example) that translates to well-defined expectations. This commitment is supported by continuous training, accountability, and recognition for associates who excel at delivering memorable member experiences. Have you ever noticed when the response is “my pleasure” after you thank someone for a service performed? I do, and it tells me they mean it. The corollary to outstanding service is above-average compensation (including tipping), so everyone wins.
Relevant Communication. And a lot of it. Odds are good that your club has the technology and skill set needed to get the word out to members (and employees) on any number of topics, so this boils down to a commitment to do it regularly, and well. Community news not only keeps everyone informed, it creates goodwill for the club and its management and staff.
First Impressions. A club staff outfitted in a coordinated look is noticeable and preferable. This “look” will vary among staff disciplines—valets, wait staff, kitchen, golf and pro shop, groundskeeping, and so on—and engenders more goodwill for the club. The relaxation of dress codes for members should not translate to the professionals and staff working at the club.
F&B Excellence. It is telling that for the past several years, club renovation projects have included a heavy focus on upgrades to kitchen facilities, new and varied dining options and venues, and expanded bar/pub gathering spots—indoors and out. Members don’t just want a great dining experience, they expect it, and menu development is an ongoing process. To keep your club moving ahead on this track, check out the agenda for the 10th Annual Chef to Chef Conference, scheduled for March 4-6, in Seattle. This is a peer-to-peer learning exchange among club chefs from around the country and you can register your culinary staff at www.cheftochefconference.com. Your chefs will come back to the club loaded with inspiration and ideas—and access to a network of club chefs whose expertise he or she can tap into throughout the year.
Something New. Club managers light up when I ask them to tell me about something new at their club—the pride and enthusiasm are evident. It may be a new practice facility, the introduction of a golf simulator, a new technology that enhances the member/guest experience, new furnishings in the clubhouse, and so on. The point is that something new is a tangible measure of the club’s vitality and future. Members like that.
You probably have a list of your own “five things” (or another number). Staying the course with those on your list will keep you on the right track—and from not getting run over.
I’ll look forward to seeing you on the “show circuit” in the coming weeks and months, and to hearing more about the change—and progress—our industry can look forward to this year.