Is “Favorite Place Status” Woven into Your Club’s Strategic Vision?

Front Line Staff

A“Favorite Place” is that special place you are drawn to when you are not at home or work.

It is that “Third Place” that nurtures your inner self when you are seeking relaxation, social engagement and/or recreation. It is the place where you fit in, feel equal, valued and contribute to its synergy. It becomes the anchor to your social life and community. Private clubs have a great opportunity to be “Favorite Places” for their members. At first glance, one would think a member’s private club would automatically be their “Favorite Place”, but that is not necessarily so. It may be their favorite place for their golf fix, competitive tennis match, workout, lap swim, their child’s summer camp or to enjoy a meal; but, is it the place that attracts them when they are not seeking any of the aforementioned and just want to hang out?

Is your club:

  • Convenient and easy to use?
  • Readily accessible?
  • Continuously ready to accommodate?
  • Promoting member-to-member socialization?
  • Providing spaces/venues for relaxed member interaction?
  • Unpretentious and accepting of all types of individuals from several different walks of life?
  • Good natured with a playful mood?
  • Prepared to consistently support and nurture this familial environment with a stable management team and professionally trained staff?
  • Budgeted with the necessary resources to support and enable this welcoming atmosphere?

“Favorite Place Status” does not occur by happenstance.

It requires a committed predetermined focus to provide all the accoutrements necessary in enabling it to evolve. Club leadership and management need to first envision their club as a “Favorite Place” and then “Begin with the end in mind” (to steal from Stephen Covey) to provide the leadership and resources necessary to allow “Favorite Place Status” to happen.

There is a “Three-Legged Stool” for achieving “Favorite Place Status” at your club. It requires top performance from your club’s Food & Beverage, Human Resources and Communications departments. You can find out what level they are performing at by asking the following questions:

Evaluate the Club’s Departments

  • Is your club’s dining offering easy to use, comfortable, accommodating, consistent and reliable with food that is always good and delivers high quality and value?
  • Is your club committed to having a stable, well-trained professional staff that is demonstrated by ensuring good compensation, work environment, benefits, member relations, training and professional advancement?
  • Are all of the above a central focus of your club’s Human Resources department’s mission?
  • Is employee retention a central focus?
  • Does your club approach member communications strategically, employing a systematic, mechanized approach to ensure the club’s communications efforts are successful and consistently connect with a majority of members so they are always aware of the club’s programs, activities, initiatives and issues?

McMahon Group has a process and system to help you and your club say, “YES!” to achieving “Favorite Place Status” and having a solid “Three-Legged Stool”. Please send me at email by clicking here for more information on achieving “Favorite Place Status” at your club.

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About Richard Lareau

Director of Member Experience

Richard has worked in private club management since 1992. His more than 24 years of experience as a Club Manager and Chief Operating Officer, achieving the highest levels of success in Board relations and as an operations specialist has garnered him well-earned acclaim in the industry. Successful management systems in team building, food and beverage, human resources, communications, marketing, golf, fitness, aquatics, and youth programming are all in the tool bag he carries with him when visiting clubs seeking help.

He has proven success in developing and implementing strategic plans along with master facility planning, kitchen and dining room design development, and construction management.

Richard is a Certified Club Manager (CCM) and Certified Chief Executive (CCE). He is the winner of the 2009 Mel Rex Award from the Excellence in Club Management® Awards (ECM); and, was awarded Club Manager of the Year by the Texas Lone Star Chapter in 2013 for his achievements and contributions to the private club industry. Richard is an active member of Les Amis des Escoffier, Chaine des Rotisserie, The International Wine Society and a lifetime honorary member of the Catering Executives Club of America.

More articles by Richard Lareau
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