Putting an Eye Toward Our Future

With plans for a huge kitchen renovation in the coming years, Kelly Greens G&CC’s Executive Chef Drew Tait is careful to not grow stagnant while waiting on improvements. Instead, he and his team are evolving and improving with new outdoor dining plans and a culinary garden.

As I enter my second year at Kelly Greens Golf & Country Club, I am very focused on driving the club forward and enhancing the level of food and service we offer to our members. We are continually evolving the menus at the club, following the trends we see in our membership. One glaring example is a more casual approach to dining. We plan to capitalize on this trend by offering a small plates menu in our lounge/bar area, introducing more cookout days at the turn for the golfers and continue to use our wonderful outdoor spaces to host social events.

It’s important we do this because this is where the future lies for Kelly Greens G&CC. Everything we introduce today helps guide the club towards a future with unique functions and additional outside dining outlets. Our survey responses show this is one of the most requested developments for the club. We must show our members what we can accomplish if we develop plans for the outside dining space.

I knew when I came on board that if I could introduce more outdoor functions it would be a big success. Most of our members come down during the winter months to enjoy the perfect weather in SWFL. This is why focusing on outside functions in a more relaxed environment will continue to attract members to participate. My first year here, I needed to see what the F&B team could accomplish within the space we have. Now that I’m aware of our capabilities, we will continue to grow these ideas and push the boundaries on what we can do.

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Our next big challenge will hopefully be in the summer of 2020 when we hope to have a kitchen renovation underway. We will have to plan for limited foodservice during our down time but we also have to plan on introducing more unique functions once the kitchen is complete. At the moment we are at somewhat at a standstill growth wise because of the layout and infrastructure limitations in the kitchen. We push the limits on this as much as we can, but until the kitchen is updated a permanent outdoor facility is not possible. For now, we plan on trying out different ideas with the menus to see what types of food our membership would like to see at an outdoor facility once it’s up and running. We are also planning on trying out different themed functions this year to give the members some new experiences.

Another project we will be starting in a few weeks is the revamping and doubling of space in our garden. We plan to build a deeper raised garden bed to allow us to produce not only herbs but some fruits and vegetables that we will show off at wine dinners and special functions.  While we continue to work on these ideas we must keep a firm eye on the future to ensure the growth of the club.

It is imperative that we plan exceedingly well to be successful in the coming years while building on the successes we’ve had. We must ensure we do not allow ourselves to become stagnate or stale because we are waiting on the completion of a renovation to propel us forward. It is important that we listen and respond to our membership’s wants and needs, but we also must take on the responsibility to see into the future of Kelly Greens and do everything in our power to make that future a realization that we all can be proud of.