Country Club Dining: Create The Best Experience for Members
Serving top-notch country club food is a major part of the country club dining experience. However, there's so much more to it. Country clubs revolve around luxurious atmospheres and high-quality products. So, on-premise dining options must meet industry standards.
As a country club manager or food and beverage director, you likely know how tedious it is to create the perfect dining experience. Or, even if you're still learning how to open a country club, these practices are probably at the top of your list. If they're not, they should be!
Now, let's get into how to establish the perfect country club dining experience!
Country Club Dining Menus
Country club dining combines gourmet cuisine with a luxurious atmosphere. From fresh ingredients to beautiful dishes, country club dining displays culinary excellence. Country clubs are certainly the place to enjoy a stellar meal. Here are five menu types every country club should offer guests, and options to include within each one:
1. Brunch Menu
Brunch is a cross between breakfast and lunch. If you're hosting brunch, make sure that you offer a wide selection of foods.
For breakfast-type foods, many brunch menus include eggs of any style, pancakes, waffles, fruit parfaits, and pastries. It's also common to see baked dishes such as frittatas and casseroles.
For brunch-goers that are in the mood for lunch, keep the country club menu light and fresh. Items like sandwiches, salads, and small plates are ideal.
2. Dinner Menu
Popular country club dinner options include filet mignon, crab cakes, lobster tails, rack of lamb, and so much more. Each entree should come with at least one side, whether it be a vegetable, pasta, or other kind of starch.
Dinner menus also contain an appetizer list. Appetizers can be as simple as soup and salad. However, other popular options include bacon wrapped scallops, escargot, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, and fondue. Oh, and don't forget to supply a bread basket to each table.
The dinner menu will likely draw your most profitable dining parties. With this in mind, promote the dinner menu across your country club marketing strategy more than other menus.
Also, don't forget to use your club and golf course management software to track best-sellers. Once you gather this information, you can prepare more effectively.
3. Dessert Menu
Provide an irresistible selection of sweet treats to end each meal. Rich and decadent sweets can elevate the luxury of a meal. Chefs often pair each dessert with a unique plating design, and colors are either bold, crisp, or vibrant.
Dessert menu items usually have at least a half a dozen items. To enhance your country club dining experience, include items like crème brûlée, flan, bubble cakes, tiramisu, and mousse.
It can be quite the challenge for your guests to choose. So, allow the waiters to provide a sample platter, so guests can check them out before making a decision.
4. Drink Menu
A drink menu is an essential part of any dining establishment. Offer guests a variety of drinks that pair with each meal.
Let's begin with non-alcoholic beverages. Soft drinks such as soda, juice, iced tea, lemonade, and water are suitable for every meal of the day. It's also common to serve coffee and hot tea after meals--or at brunch. In this case, coffee and tea are staples.
It's also profitable to have an alcoholic drink menu, too. Offer guests a variety of beer brands, popular cocktails, and wine. Something like a prosecco mimosa is ideal during brunch, while a dirty martini is more suitable during happy hour. Just create a variety so there are options from morning to night.
Many country clubs source beverages from local breweries and vineyards. Go this route if you want to help other local businesses and offer guests unique options.
5. Kid’s Menu
A kid's menu should consist of simple and basic food items. Items like chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, and chicken noodle soup are popular options. Though it's not the most luxurious country club dining menu, you need to be mindful of the whole family!
Kids have a tendency to be picky eaters. So, be aware of tasty flavor profiles and slightly smaller portions. With this in mind, don't forget to price smaller meals accordingly.
Country Club Dining Technology
Every business needs a POS system. Without it, your country club dining operations could never take place. So, utilize restaurant payment technology that's suitable for country clubs and golf courses.
Utilize all-inclusive country club management software that integrates with POS software. This way, all of your restaurant data analytics can exist in one place. When it comes time for reporting, you'll be able to quickly retrieve consumer data.
Speaking of reporting, most POS systems can create a point of sale report. Onboard a software that includes this feature, as accurate metrics will be essential in planning ahead.
Kiosks can integrate with your menu software and golf course POS system to provide convenient service. When you think of country club dining, your mind might go straight to on-premise restaurants. However, setting up kiosks around the golf course is a profitable venture.
If you have basic drinks and snack foods on your menu, offer them via kiosks. This strategy will serve as a way to keep members at your country club. Plus, it can help nurture loyalty programs.
3. Inventory Apps
A restaurant inventory management app is vital for country club dining. It provides kitchens with accuracy and efficiency. If you struggle with tracking inventory, this solution is right for you.
Years ago, the restaurant manager would manually take inventory at the end of each shift. With restaurant inventory software, this process can now be put on autopilot. This feature is ideal for inventory forecasting and demand planning. With automatic shipments, you never have to worry about running out of ingredients.
If you want to emphasize the importance of sustainability at your country club, this software will come in handy for that, too. Food spoilage is a major issue in many eateries. By keeping just the amounts of inventory you need, you'll rarely have food going to waste.
4. Tableside Devices
Tableside devices provide a variety of benefits. They allow guests to browse the menu, order, and pay without the server present. These concepts are most valuable when an eatery is understaffed.
Keep in mind that luxurious dining experiences focus on outstanding wait service. So, reserve the tableside devices for more casual dining settings. There's a time and place for various features. Ensure that you use them when appropriate.
5. QR Codes
QR codes are a cost-effective and time-efficient feature that can elevate country club dining processes. They allow customers to quickly view the menus. More advanced QR codes will even let customers order additional items.
QR codes let the restaurant change the menu as much as they want without costing them money. It also keeps the restaurant space more sanitary, as multiple people aren't handling the same menus.
Country Club Dining Tips
1. Set the Scene
Country club dining rooms are usually elegant spaces. Set the scene with proper decor and elements. For example, warm restaurant lighting creates a romantic atmosphere during dinner. On the other hand, light neutrals are ideal during breakfast.
If you have the means to change the environment based on the meal, go for it. However, there are ways to create a luxurious environment regardless of the time.
Invest in high-end glassware, linens, and decor. Such pieces can include flowers, greenery, mirrors, and art. When the room's aesthetic matches the cuisine, there's a perfect balance. Everything meshes well together, creating a complete experience.
2. Offer Loyalty Rewards
If you want to maximize revenue over time, adopt customer retention strategies. One of the most effective options for eateries is a restaurant loyalty program. It allures new customers and gives past guests a reason to return.
Create a point system, so that guests can ultimately redeem rewards. A simple structure would be one point per every dollar. Then, rewards can be anything from a free appetizer to a mixed drink.
Ensure that you calculate what the rewards will be prior to launching a customer rewards program. You'll most likely maintain a profitable business. However, you want to make sure that you're not gifting free items too easily and quickly.
3. Provide Great Service
Customer service should be a top priority for any business. Whether your guests come back or not is heavily dependent on how their service is.
Ensure that the wait staff and hosts treat guests with the utmost respect. Also ensure that restaurant operations are seamless enough to provide fast service. Slow service and long wait times is a recipe for frustrated guests.
It can be hard to attract the same guests once they have a bad experience. So, carefully hire a passionate and friendly team. Ensuring good service from the start is essential.
4. Cater to Dietary Needs
Country club and golf course food should cater to dietary preferences and restrictions. In doing so, you'll be able to capture the largest audience possible.
Menus free of the most popular allergens will make your country club dining services exclusive and safe for many people. Some of the most popular allergens include tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soy, eggs, and milk.
Offering other dietary needs will be valuables to many guests, too. For example, dishes free from dairy and meat products are ideal for vegan and plant-based diets. Gluten-free diets are increasingly popular as well.
5. Create Member-Only Perks
Country clubs can encourage diners to sign-up for memberships. Offer member-only perks to draw attention to other amenities. Such restaurant promotions can include special events, discounts, and private tables.
Country club dining is a luxurious feature of private clubs. An easy way to establish a sense of luxury in a brand is to create a sense of exclusivity. By offering country club members a selection of dining perks, more guests may partake in memberships.
Membership incentives are the top reason to keep the country club dining room open to the public. It can be challenging to secure sign-ups. So, promote various perks in real life as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions About Country Club Dining
Country club dining consists of so many elements and key features. Want to learn more about excelling in this department? We've got you covered--read on!
Are Country Club Restaurants Open to the Public?
No, country club restaurants are usually only open to members and their guests. However, you can expand your audience by opening the restaurant to the public.
Can People Host Private Events At Country Club Restaurants?
Yes, many people use a country club's restaurant space for private events. Some examples include weddings, reunions, and baby showers.
What Are the Hours of Operation for Country Club Restaurants?
Country club restaurants are usually open from 10am to 10pm. However, this can vary depending on the day of the week.
What Is the Dress Code for Country Club Dining?
Dress codes vary depending on the club, but most require business casual attire or something more formal. Jeans, shorts, and athletic wear are typically not allowed in the dining room. Always check with the club beforehand, as managers greatly attribute attire to the country club culture.
What Types of Cuisines Are Served At Country Club Restaurants?
Country clubs often offer a range of cuisines; however, they're almost always upscale. Some may offer a variety, while others focus on a specialty.
Now that you know what it takes to create the best country club dining experience, it's time to get to work. From tech solutions to the most perfect menus, this guide will likely lead you to a successful outcome. Always remember to track results, test new things, and consider customer feedback.