Your Club Must Achieve “Favorite Place Status”

The Boulevard Club

With threats of more and more high-end public fee golf courses, quality Life Time Fitness Centers and trendy chef owned restaurants dotting our communities, it’s necessary to ensure that your club is one of your members’ favorite places to meet friends and family, relax and enjoy a great meal.

I feel blessed and thrilled to join McMahon Group to share my expertise in raising both the levels of club members’ expectations and operational execution with a focus on enhancing a club’s dining experience. While sports and recreation are, traditionally, the main attraction that has driven member recruitment for a while now, McMahon Group has learned, from their extensive
membership survey research with well over 1,200 private clubs, that it is social experiences in the clubhouse and its surrounding patios that contribute most to member retention. Ninety percent (90%) of members and spouses repeatedly state that dining is more important than golf and that they want their club to be one of their favorite places to dine.

With threats of more and more high-end public fee golf courses, quality Life Time Fitness Centers and trendy chef owned restaurants dotting our communities, it’s necessary to ensure that your club is one of your members’ favorite places to meet friends and family, relax and enjoy a great meal. Everybody eats! The clubhouse is the hub where “club” happens, and “club” is the intangible that is “the experience a member can’t get anywhere else”. It is THE reason your club stays relevant in your members’ lives. If your dining amenity is only just as good as the restaurant just down the road, that eatery becomes a threat to you and your club.

“Doing the simple things very well” is the foundation all dining success is built upon.

 It is the blocking and tackling (football metaphor) of every successful dining experience. The “simple things” are all of the accouterments that go with every successful dining establishment anywhere. Your club must be easy and convenient (“friction-less” is my new favorite descriptor). It must be reliable and consistently provide a quality product that always passes the “Delicious Test”. Service must be excellent at an understood and appreciated value. The “simple things” at a private club must also include familial relationships with all staff – where products, services and experiences are repeatedly and easily personalized. It is the place where special orders don’t upset us, they delight us! At their clubs, members are able to have it their way. Again, this is the intangible that creates the experience bonding a member to their club.

McMahon Group feels achieving “Favorite Place Status” is a significant key element to your club’s survival in today’s ever increasing competitive market.

Since being founded in 1983, McMahon Group has become the leader of strategic, facility and master planning for private clubs. They have mastered a strategic process that focuses on the
member by utilizing a variety of focus groups and surveys that bring clarity to a club’s mission and vision, articulating an actionable strategic plan that boards approve and management implements. We are now focusing this same strategic process focused on club dining. McMahon Group feels achieving “Favorite Place Status” is a significant key element to your club’s survival in today’s ever increasing competitive market. Dining has become the greatest challenge and greatest opportunity.

We taste food and we savor a great dining experience. If your club’s dining program could use an overhaul or just a pick-me-up, I’m excited to help you achieve it! Take the guesswork out of ensuring your members think of your club as a “Favorite Place”. Schedule a First Impressions Visit to start the process by contacting Alison Duffy at aduffy@mcmahongroup.com or 800.365.2498.

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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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