The Complete Guide to Hosting Brunch at Your Country Club
Professionals in the restaurant industry may have a clear idea of what it takes for hosting brunch to be successful. But if you're learning how to open a country club, we have a guide that'll help you out. Read on to learn all about it!
Brunch is a meal that is served from morning through the afternoon. There's often a mix of breakfast and lunch menu items, in addition to various drink options. Bear in mind that it's common to serve alcoholic beverages at brunch, despite it being held early in the day.
The term "brunch" is a portmanteau of the words breakfast and lunch. So, expect to create a balance between the two.
Hosting Brunch At a Country Club: A 9 Step Guide
Brunch places can do things a bit different from one another. But if you’re hosting brunch at a country club, you want to ensure stellar service, delicious menu items, and an unforgettable atmosphere.
See below for nine steps for successfully hosting brunch at your country club:
1. Prepare In Advance
Set some time aside to prepare for tomorrow's brunch. Preparing food, drinks, and tableware will help speed up processes that can be time-consuming otherwise. Go ahead and place dishware, napkins, silverware, and glassware on each table at the end of the last shift. Ensure that you have enough cocktail glasses and coffee mugs available in the back, too.
2. Create a Brunch Food Menu
Creating the perfect food menu is necessary for hosting brunch. Guests who have a wide variety of dishes to choose from typically have a great experience.
Culinary staples that should be on every country club menu include:
- Meats: Bacon, sausage, and ham are classics while hosting brunch. The savory flavors of meats pair well with lighter cuisines, too.
- Eggs: As a staple on every brunch menu, offer eggs in a variety of ways. From soufflé to scrambled, there are many variations to offer guests.
- Scones: Despite being in the pastry category, scones are standard at brunch. Offer a variety, from vanilla to unique seasonal flavors. They're sure to pair with most entrees.
- Parfaits: Creamy yogurt topped with fresh fruit is a light, delicious, and colorful brunch idea. Plus, guests can customize their parfait depending on what kind of yogurt, fruit, and granola they prefer.
- Classics: Who doesn't love a classic stack of pancakes or a Belgium waffle? French toast is another great option, as baking it in the oven saves space on the stove.
- Baked Dishes: If you want to enhance the formality of hosting brunch, serve entree food. Dishes like frittatas, egg casseroles, and quiche are typically huge hits.
- Pastries and Dessert Menu Items: Sweet treats like coffee cake, muffins, and tarts are ideal when hosting brunch.
Use this list as inspiration for creating a unique brunch menu. Mix and match these items to also create ideas that lean more towards lunch. Though people usually consider brunch to be breakfast for lunch, chefs can get away with serving items like pastas, sandwiches, and salads, too.
Ensure that the wait staff offers guests a variety of butters, jams, syrups, and other condiments. Such ingredients can take dishes to the next level and cater to personal tastes.
Offering a mix of sweet and savory menu items creates the perfect balance. The contrast of flavors and aromas will off-set one another, creating the perfect meal.
3. Create a Brunch Drink Menu
The most socially acceptable time to consume different types of alcohol early in the day is while hosting brunch. Ensure that your brunch menu has a vast selection of drinks to pair with any meal.
Five of the most popular cocktails for hosting brunch include:
- Mimosas: The refreshing blend of champagne and orange juice is a brunch favorite across the board. You simply cannot view a brunch menu without spotting the bubbly cocktail.
- Bloody Mary's: The pungent mixture of vodka, tomato juice, and various spices is not for the faint of heart. Learn more about the Bloody Mary drink origin for recipe variations.
- Sangria: Pair red or white wine with a variety of sweet liqueurs and fruits, such as apples and oranges. Serve it by the pitcher, and you'll quickly have a fan favorite. Plus, it's a creative way to incorporate wine into your brunch menu.
- Irish Coffee: To make this, combine coffee, cream, brown sugar, and whiskey. It's the perfect recipe to enjoy something decadent during or after brunch.
- Spanish Coffee: This alcoholic coffee recipe is a bit different. Combine coffee, cream, rum, Grand Mariner, and Kahlua.
Each of these mixed drink recipes pair well with different brunch menu items. Light and refreshing sangria or mimosas pair nicely with waffles and parfaits, while a Bloody Mary is ideal with eggs and meats. The alcoholic coffees on the other hand, are ideal for after the meal. So, they can be for everyone!
If people don't drink or have plans for the rest of the day, they might opt for something alcohol-free. So, include the following options, too:
- Mocktails: More often than not, mocktails are a combination of juices. Sometimes, they'll contain soda water for a bubbly effect.
- Juice: Apple, orange, grape, and cranberry juice are the most popular options. Drinks like lemonade also fall within this category.
- Coffee: Regular and decaf coffee will probably be the most popular non-alcoholic beverage. Upon serving carafes of coffee, supply guests with sweetener and creamer. Want to take it one step further? Offer specialty coffee drinks like lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos. You can also offer flavored syrups to make them even more custom.
- Tea: As a coffee alternative, offer a variety of tea. Want a pro-tip? Loose-leaf teas are tastier and more nutrient-dense. Ensure that you're steeping each tea at the appropriate time (yes, this matters!). Earl Grey, English breakfast, and green tea should be a diverse starting point.
- Milk: You'll always have milk on hand for basic recipes, so you might as well offer it as a drink option. Offer a variety of milk types, from whole and skim to almond and coconut. Many people follow dairy-free and lactose-free diets. So, include a diverse selection to meet everyone's dietary needs and preferences.
- Water: Despite being the most standard beverage of all, supply each table with a pitcher of ice water. Brunch menus can also offer carbonated options, too.
3. Choose a Time Window
The best time to serve brunch is between ten o'clock in the morning and two o'clock in the afternoon. You have an equal amount of time in both times of day, for both types of cuisine. If guests have a busy day planned, brunch can still fit into their schedule. But if they want to have a leisurely morning, they can arrive a little later.
4. Set the Scene
Hosting brunch in a country club is way more formal than serving typical golf course food. So, you need to set the scene accordingly.
Use decor that sets the tone and vibe of your country club. Simple centerpieces like candles and floral arrangements are pretty, cozy, and cost-effective. Just ensure that they're not too tall. You want your guests to be able to see everyone in their party.
Decorate the walls with mirrors, paintings, and floral arrangements that pair with the club's color palette. Speaking of color schemes, implement soft, neutral, or warm tones throughout the brunch spot.
Cozy restaurant lighting and soft party music also elevates the atmosphere. It'll create a calming and beautiful environment, which will lead to a luxurious country club culture. The mood across the room will heavily influence the customer experience. So, make sure it's an appealing one.
5. Opt for Table Service
Many eateries offer a brunch buffet. However, that's where you can implement product differentiation and do things a bit better.
Country club management tactics revolve around providing great customer service. So, offer wait service. Buffets usually point toward a casual dining experience. Considering the high membership fees and luxury of country clubs, serving country club food with a full wait staff is ideal.
6. Use Time-Efficient Kitchen Equipment
Once you invest in the right kitchen and restaurant equipment, hosting brunch will be a breeze. For example, appliance companies make pancake griddles that make multiple at a time. Similarly, there are square waffle makers that make four at once.
The best part about electric food appliances is that they save space on the stove. So if you're prepping food like bacon or sausage in a pan, you have sufficient room to prepare other food.
Metal storage and hot plates also retain heat very well. It can be challenging to time different types of food, which makes these tools super valuable. Oh, and did you know that pancakes, French toast, and waffles can stay in the oven at 200° for up to thirty minutes and not dry out or burn? Try this trick and see if it allows you to serve everyone's dish altogether.
And of course, don't forget about standard appliances that'll make your days of hosting brunch easier. To name a few, invest in dishwashers, electric mixers, and food processors.
7. Use Inventory Management Tools
Hosting brunch like a pro requires you to have sufficient inventory. Utilize restaurant inventory software to automate all your orders. Using this kind of restaurant tech will help you acquire all necessary ingredients at all times. Plus, it'll lessen the risk of food spoilage and overspending on excessive quantities. Over time, this will help promote the importance of sustainability.
When customers ask for something that's no longer available, it can cause disappointment. By always keeping fresh inventory on hand, you can deliver exactly what customers are craving, all the time. It'll also keep your menu types more standardized.
8. Promote It On Social Media
One of the best realms to show that your country club is hosting brunch is social media. Showcase imagery and snippet videos of best-selling dishes, cocktails, and the ambiance.
A sector of country club marketing should focus on food service. As you map out restaurant marketing plans, include brunch as a popular event. After all, it's one of the most coveted social gatherings, similar to happy hour.
The marketing or country club manager should keep a rolling posting schedule. In addition to food and drinks, promote unique features like themes and special events that take place while hosting brunch.
Are you planning to promote tactics on social media like discounts or a customer rewards program? If so, use features of country club POS systems to do the bulk of the work. Aside from managing social profiles, just know how to calculate the social media ROI to track results and maximize revenue.
9. Use Country Club or Golf Course POS Features
Country club and golf course management tools can be effective when hosting brunch. For instance, you can use POS software to collect restaurant loyalty program points. Or, you can use an integrated inventory app to manage quantities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hosting Brunch
As you can see, hosting brunch takes a great deal of attention and coordination. Want to learn more? Read below for more topics about hosting brunch:
What Time Should I Start Brunch?
Brunch should take place between 10 o'clock in the morning and 2 o'clock in the afternoon. This window provides guests with a balance between breakfast and lunch.
Should I Have a Theme for Brunch?
Creating a theme for your brunch will surely make it unique. However, it's not necessary. If you don't implement a theme, just remember to display tasteful decor.
What Beverages Should I Serve at Brunch?
Serve a mix of alcoholic and soft drinks at brunch. Some of the most popular options include: mimosas, Bloody Mary's, coffee, tea, and juice.
Should I Decorate for Brunch?
Decorating is essential for brunch. From flower walls to centerpieces, get creative! Implementing beautiful dishware and linens is just as important, too.
How Do I Set the Table for Brunch?
For each person, provide one fork, one butter knife, and two spoons. Begin by placing the fork on the left side of the plate. Next, place the butter knife down with the cutting side facing inwards toward the plate. Then, set a soup spoon and teaspoon on the right side. You also want to place the napkin atop the plate. You can also place a bread plate atop the entree plate.
Breakfast or Lunch? How About Both!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not merge it with lunch? Now that you know how hosting brunch takes place at country clubs, it’s time to get started!