In this episode of C+RB’s video series, Marketing Director Christine de Vlaming and Food & Beverage Director Mary Davis describe how the 3,000-member Salem, S.C. property has seen strong and steady growth in its food-and-beverage operation after a $14 million facilities enhancement initiative created two new full-service restaurants and a new premier event center. A robust takeout and curbside delivery service created out of need during the pandemic is also expected to remain popular. “It’s a new convenience that’s part of a new way of life,” Davis says.
“The Road Ahead” video series from Club + Resort Business highlights how clubs are moving forward to create successful new programs, events and amenities and enhance the member experience.
This episode features The Club at Keowee Key, a 3,000-member community in Salem, S.C., outside the fast-growing city of Greenville. In anticipation of its 50th anniversary in 2022, Keowee Key launched a $14 million facilities enhancement initiative in 2017 that “completely modernized” the property, according to Marketing Director Christine de Vlaming, and included the creation of two new full-service restaurants and a new premier event center.
The club’s food-and-beverage operation closed for only two days in March 2020 because of the pandemic—“and once we reopened, there was no stopping us,” reports Director of Food and Beverage Mary Davis. For the rest of the year, the club served 87,000 meals—many (200 to 300 a night) through a robust takeout and curbside delivery program established by Executive Chef Shane White and his team, but also through popular theme dinners and drive-in movie events that were conducted safely on site.
This year, Davis reports, Keowee Key’s on-site dining has “taken off,” especially as more members get vaccinated—but while she says that’s caused “a little dip” in takeout/delivery, that also looks like it will remain in demand. “I think it’s going to stay popular, as a new convenience that’s part of a new way of life,” Davis says.
To integrate F&B with all of the many activities that are available to members on the Keowee Key property, Davis and White and their teams set up appetizers and beverage service on multiple holes of the golf course during “wine and dine” events, as well as for tennis and pickleball activities. “Anywhere we can stick our nose in, we’re there,” Davis says.
Further development of the club’s F&B operation will come from Chef White’s pursuit of the Certified Executive Chef designation, interning partnerships with local culinary schools, development of an on-site herb garden, and promotion of the Keowee Key event center for weddings, corporate meetings and other social groups.
(Viewing time: 11 minutes)
Previous episodes of “The Road Ahead” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-ahead-the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature a club capitalizing on the impressive pedigree of its staff to transform the property into a thriving destination, a club’s success with golf fitness-specific programs that help members improve their overall game and health, and how other clubs are achieving growth through a variety of strategies tailored to the specific needs of their properties, markets and target demographics.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Back,” contact firstname.lastname@example.org.