With indoor dining restricted to 25% capacity, a lakeside patio and bar and a new screened-in outdoor pizza kitchen have been the “saving grace” for the food-and-beverage business at Bishops Bay Country Club in Middleton, Wis. In this episode of C+RB’s video series, General Manager/COO Jeff Murray joins Food & Beverage Director Cheryl Burns and Executive Chef Gabor Bencze to describe how the pizza addition, built on an empty concrete slab on the property, has been such an immediate home run, with 120 pizzas sold in two hours on its opening night, that there are now plans to add all-weather siding so it can be used year-round. “Our members tell us this is the only place they want to go right now,” says Murray.
“The Road Back” video series from Club + Resort Business provides fresh insights into how club and resort properties are meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic and finding new and innovative ways to boost business levels and start their return to full operation.
This episode looks at how Bishops Bay Country Club, in Middleton, Wis., has added a popular new screened-in outdoor pizza kitchen and dining venue to the popular lakeside patio and bar that it built five years ago. With indoor dining restricted to 25 percent capacity and event business off significantly, the two outdoor areas have been the “saving grace” for the club’s food-and-beverage business, reports General Manager/COO Jeff Murray,
Murray joins Food & Beverage Director Cheryl Burns and Executive Chef Gabor Bencze to describe how the pizza addition, built on an empty concrete slab on the property, has been such an immediate home run, with 120 pizzas sold in two hours on its opening night, that there are now plans to add all-weather siding so it can be used year-round. Chef Bencze’s emphasis on using fresh and local ingredients, including fresh basil and tomatoes from the club’s garden, for the neopolitan-style, crispy-crust pizzas has also prompted carryout orders to skyrocket, in addition to what’s consumed on site.
“We knew we would have to come up with some creative new ideas when it became clear we would have to rely completely on a la carte and carryout business this year,” says Murray. “Adding the pizza kitchen to the outdoor space we already had has helped to increase a la carte sales by 10 to 15 percent, even with just the short time the pizza kitchen has been open. We’ve been told by many members that this is the only place they want to go right now.”
(Viewing time: 11 minutes)
Previous episodes of The Road Back series can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature an innovative “virtual school” setup that helps members’ students attend online classes in a safe and supervised environment; look at more examples of how clubs have successfully pursued renovations and improvement projects during the pandemic; and highlight the details of expanded and effective new communications strategies that were developed out of necessity because of the pandemic’s restrictions.
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.