Most membership databases have considerable information of value for the conscientious club manager.Â Take for instance birthdays and anniversaries.Â These celebratory occasions are a real opportunity to improve the club’s bottom line.
- Have your food and beverage manager design special celebratory packages for anniversaries and birthdays.
- Customize birthday packages by gender and age for adults and children.
- The package should include a cake or special dessert and, in the case of anniversaries, a bottle of champagne or favorite wine.
- Price the packages aggressively to ensure perceived value.Â The benefit of this program for the club is not in margin per meal, but in increasing the overall food and beverage volume, especially during slow periods.
- The General Manager should send a special congratulatory card to the celebrants, inviting them to the club.Â Require an RSVP and limit the celebration to traditionally slow nights by excluding traditionally busy Friday and Saturday nights.Â This will build volume on slower nights and will allow servers to give special attention to the celebratory party.
- If available, the General Manager of Clubhouse Manager should stop by the table to wish the party a Happy Anniversary or Birthday.
- If servers are going to sing “Happy Birthday,” make sure they can sing, are properly rehearsed, and on key.
- Children’s birthday parties also offer a special opportunity for a Birthday Bash, possibly at the pool during the swim season or a themed party in some other club venue.Â This is a great opportunity for the club’s activities staff to use their ingenuity and creativeness to do something really memorable.
The potentials are significant for the effort expended.Â Consider a club of 900 memberships with an average of 3.2 family members per membership.Â This translates to 2,880 birthdays a year.Â At a conservative capture rate of 25% of the birthdays and an average check of $75 per birthday celebration (and much higher for Birthday Bashes), the potential could be as high as $54,000 in additional food and beverage revenues.Â With upselling opportunities, the number could be significantly more.
The same membership with 700 couples could yield an additional $14,000 in anniversary revenues with a 40% capture rate and a $50 average check per couple.
For the small price of an organized system, administered by the club receptionist or administrative assistant, the club can reap significant rewards â€“ not the least of which is the goodwill of members who appreciate the special efforts made on their behalf.
Excerpted from Food Service Management on the Go
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This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” 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 hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.
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