How Can Clubs Compete With Upscale Restaurants

Q: How can clubs better compete with the proliferation of high-end outside dining choices?

Hire the best chef you can afford — with exceptional culinary skills and experiences. And keep up with menu and atmospheric trends.

Dick Heise, Architect, Director of Club Studio


Create the ultimate outdoor dining experience with…covered pergolas or awnings, lighting sconces and pendants, live music, discreet service areas, comfortable seating, a fireplace or firepit, large scale seasonal plantings, proper air movement with fans or heaters, seasonal fresh food…

Bob Hickman, Chairman, Interior Designer


Provide childcare for harried parents who might like to have a quiet meal.

Ken Hart, Director of Architecture


Rebalance. Look at the revenue stream for your club and consider reallocating spaces to maximize revenue potential.

—Rick Snellinger, President & CEO, Master Planner


Capitalize on everything a club can offer that a restaurant property can’t — a scenic view, a more intimate social scene, space for special events.  And make sure your menu prices are comparable to other family-friendly options.

Patricia Sampson, Managing Director


Service, service, service.  A hostess who greets them by name, a bartender who remembers their drink, a waitperson who knows their kids’ food allergies and how they like their steak cooked.  They’re not likely to get that anywhere else.

Bob Doyle, Architect


Continually host and promote unique dining events.  Host local ‘guest chefs’ and let members sample a locally renowned chef’s creations without having to drive downtown.  Invite speakers.  Show a movie with dinner and create your own dinner theatre once a month.  Take requests from members and prepare their favorite dishes on feature nights.

Steven Sutor, Senior Interior Design Associate


Offer variety and an element of surprise — for example, feature an international cuisine and pair it with a complementary wine and appropriate music.

—Chris Smith, Architect[/wpcol_2third_end]


Don’t forget the music.  Offer live music with local bands or ensembles. Or showcase members’ musical talents by having an accomplished pianist or a string quartet perform during brunch or dinner. Consider after-dinner dancing.

—Rick Snellinger, President & CEO, Master Planner

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