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Club Casual Dining

Favorite Place Status

Managers at clubs throughout the country are recognizing the benefits of achieving “Favorite Place Status”. While the sports and recreational amenities at clubs remain significant drivers that initially attract new members to clubs today, it is the social camaraderie and the quality of the club’s hospitality that are core to members’ unique experiences and why members stay members well after their sporting and recreational passions subside.

McMahon Group’s data shows that 89% of club managers say their club should be a favorite place to dine, and 79% feel that it actually is; while 92% of members of these same clubs say their club should be a favorite place to dine, and yet only 42% say that it actually is. Why is there such a disparity in perception between managers and members? Where is the breakdown or gap in communication and understanding?

How to Bridge the Gap

A complimentary Dining First Impressions Visit is your best first step in discovering how well your club is delivering the dining experience your members want. Our visit encompasses investigating a variety of factors affecting your culinary program. The subsequent Dining First Impressions Report provides the manager with McMahon Group’s observations and recommendations of ways to achieve “Favorite Place Status”. Areas to be observed and evaluated are:

  • The Club’s Dining Mission and Vision Statement
  • An understanding of the management’s, board’s and House Committee’s concerns regarding current operations, execution and financial results, along with opportunities and goals for the future
  • Key staff interviews
  • Human Resource department processes and initiatives
  • Sampling food and observing service
  • Reviewing the club’s training and procedures manuals and its systematic training process
  • Evaluating the alignment between the club’s a la carte dining room seating capacities, the kitchen layout and production capacity
  • Reviewing member feedback and self-evaluation systems the Club has in place
  • Reviewing club communications with membership, club governance, management and employees

To start your journey of achieving “Favorite Place Status” by scheduling a Dining First Impressions Visit, please click here to fill out our First Impressions Form.

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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.

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