Strategic Planning Enables “Favorite Place Status”


Legends Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida is a private, gated and bundled country club community of 1,291 residences. Led by General Manager/COO Ranae Frazier, CHAE, CAM and Club President Mike Gordon, in 2016, the Club’s Master Board wisely realized they needed a written strategic plan to be the guiding rudder ensuring the Club remains relevant and vibrant well into the future. When developing the Strategic Plan, the Club preformed a SWOT analysis to identify key strategic issues facing the Club. One of the issues identified was a lack of member satisfaction with the Club’s a la carte dining.

The Club’s a la carte operating system of “No Reservation – Seat Yourself” presented the Club with many challenges – especially in achieving quality service during peak dining hours. In addition, the Club was considering several substantial dining upgrades including increasing the seating capacity. They then determined that an Action Item for the Strategic Plan was to conduct an independent, third party food and beverage operational audit to determine why there was dysfunction and how to fix it. Ranae contacted McMahon Group to conduct our complimentary Dining First Impressions Visit, which includes:

Complimentary Dining First Impressions Visit

  • Meeting with the club’s general manager, key club leaders, president or chair of the house committees, including department heads responsible for dining, human resources and communications
  • Touring and evaluating the club’s dining amenities both front and back-of-house
  • Experiencing and evaluating a meal and service with the general manager and other club leaders

Legends then engaged McMahon Group to achieve the following:

Professionally evaluate and master engineer the kitchen, including support areas and dining service stations to enable:

  • Streamlining service
  • Accommodating a broader daily menu
  • Enhancing the requisite meals-per-minute output during peak traffic periods – the Club’s current kitchen configuration is only capable of producing a maximum of one-and-a-half to two meals-per-minute output, when it needs to be able to accelerate the output capacity up to four to five meals-per-minute during peak “in season” periods of operation, given their operations paradigm

Act as the Club’s liaison in hiring a new Clubhouse Manager.

Work with the Club’s front and back-of-house teams, Human Resources and Communications departments to ensure systems are in place to make sure all employees are:

  • The right hire for their position
  • Provided with systematic and continuous orientation and training programs
  • Receive frequently scheduled performance evaluations and feedback
  • Continuously updated on all Club information regarding member events and programs enabling them to be leaders in consistently delivering service excellence

The success in this story is that in Legends partnering with McMahon Group, they incorporated a strategic process that ultimately resulted in the Club’s members being able to enjoy the Club as they want to enjoy it, and the Club becoming a favorite place to dine during the busiest times of Florida’s peak season. Congratulations Ranae and Mr. Gordon! Both of you have achieved a lot on behalf of your Club, and deserve appropriate recognition for your hard work and due diligence.

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About Bill McMahon, Sr. AIA, OAA


Bill is a strategic, financial and architectural planning consultant to clubs throughout North America. He established McMahon Group in 1983 as an affiliate of the family architectural firm his grandfather founded in 1906. Over the ensuing years, the firm has expanded its club consulting services beyond clubhouse improvement planning to a full range of services for all aspects of private club challenges. To date, the firm has assisted more than 2,000 private clubs across the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. McMahon Group provides a unique approach to developing club facility projects first establishing design and financial feasibility so membership approval is achieved. Thereafter final design and construction firms are selected to build the member approved project.

Mr. McMahon is unique among club consultants in providing an integrated strategic, financial and architectural approach to solving club problems. His personal involvement with his own clubs in St. Louis (serving in the roles of president, board member and committee member) has allowed him to bring unparalleled experience to each client. Mr. McMahon’s club memberships have included Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis), Racquet Club Ladue (St. Louis), University Club of St. Louis, Spring Lake Yacht Club (Michigan) and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

Mr. McMahon is a graduate of Washington University School of Architecture in St. Louis and holds architecture licenses in 44 U.S. states and in Ontario, Canada. He is a featured author in industry publications and a featured speaker at the annual conferences of the Club Managers Association of America, the Canadian Society of Club Managers, the National Club Association and the Hospitality, Financial and Technology Professionals. He serves as a visiting lecturer at continuing education sessions offered by regional CMAA chapters and at Michigan State University. Bill is a co-author of McMahon Club Trends®, the comprehensive research reports on strategic issues facing private clubs published with the National Club Association. He is also founder of the Excellence in Club Management Award.

Mr. McMahon is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the National Club Association. He is a former president of the Missouri Council of Architects, AIA and has served on various charitable boards in the St. Louis area.

More articles by Bill McMahon, Sr. AIA, OAA
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