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 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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