4 Tips for Club Operations

Tip #24 – Real Time Tracking of Revenues and Expenses

If you have bottom line responsibility for your operation or department, your success or failure is entirely up to you.  It is your responsibility to meet your budget, made up of revenues and expenses.  While the accounting department prepares monthly financials so you and your bosses can monitor your performance, why wait until the middle of next month to see how you’re doing?

The simple expediency of tracking your revenues on a daily basis by transferring your daily sales numbers from your POS reports to an Excel spreadsheet will allow you to see if you are on track to meet revenue projections.  Such daily monitoring allows you to intervene to promote sales now instead of when it’s too late.

The same principle applies to your expenses.  Monitoring your payroll and other expenses as you incur them, as if you were writing the checks out of your personal account, allows you to monitor your expenses now, as opposed to later when you’ve missed your budget.

Tip #67 – Digital Camera Helps with Food Presentation Consistency

One of the three rules of providing consistent food products to members is to ensure uniform plate presentation.  The Chef works hard to prepare tasty, interesting menu offerings.  Part of the appeal of food is how it is plated and served.  Unless all kitchen staff are trained in the proper plate presentation, this important ingredient of high quality food service will be left to chance.

Enter the digital camera.  With the reasonable price and ready availability of digital cameras, it is easy to prepare plate presentation exactly as they should be and then photograph them.  Then print the pictures on photo quality paper with a color printer and display them prominently in the kitchen.

Presto, you now have a visual cue for all staff as to how each menu item should be presented.

Tip #98 – Creating Memories

Most clubs have recognized the value of investing in a quality digital camera to record activities and events for their club newsletter.  Members always enjoy seeing pictures of themselves and the photos of fun events encourage those who missed a good time to sign up early for the next event.

Why not carry the digital memories a step further?  For less than $150 you can purchase a good-sized digital picture frame from Walmart or an electronics store.  You can then save your photos of fun events on a memory stick and set up the digital frame to randomly display great pictures of great events.  Place the digital frame on an easel inside the club’s main entrance, lobby, or dining room foyer and watch your members stop to watch the display.  Usually a well-picked display of 20 pictures is all you need.

Some members will want copies of certain photos and these can be provided to them as an email attachment.  Once you’ve developed a large archive of fun events and continue to take photos routinely of your members enjoying their club, you can easily change out the picture display on a weekly basis.  The photos can also be used to develop an annual yearbook of club events that is given or sold to members.  Lastly, the photos can be used by the membership director to help sell prospects on the fun times to be had as a member of your club.

Tip #101 – Mastering the ABCs

As children we all mastered our ABCs, the basic building blocks of language and learning.  The term “ABCs” has long since come to signify the basics of any endeavor.

All of us who work in our industry recognize that the profession is made up of mastering the many basics of hospitality and service.  Even in an enterprise as seemingly complex as food service, it is the execution of the basics that underpin all our efforts and ultimately leads to success.

Of all the things I’ve learned in my hospitality career spanning over 35 years, the ultimate discipline of success is the necessity of executing the basics well.  Jim Collins’ research for his groundbreaking book, Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, pointed undeniably to “disciplined people taking disciplined action” as one of the prerequisites to any successful enterprise.

While there are many innovative, cutting-edge ideas and technologies to improve the products, service, and performance of your operation, you must build these enhancements onto a foundation of the basics.

With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to leave you with what I consider the most basic, yet ultimate tip – that as you contemplate the many ways to add service and value to your club, you must always focus your attention and that of your entire staff on the ABCs, that is . . .

Accomplish the Basics Consistently

Ed Rehkopf, Excerpted from 101 Tips to Improve Your Club Operations, Hospitality Resources International

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

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