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The role that Hospitality (Food & Beverage) plays in clubs supports the social enhancement of the club.  Whilst some clubs may be perfectly equipped to meet their members’ needs with offerings of barbeques, hot pies and sandwiches, others may offer a la carte dinning, multiple service outlets, and have function facilities for large scale weddings, dinners and cocktail parties.

One thing that is common amongst clubs is that their hospitality operation is very different from most segments of the hospitality industry.  For one, most medium to large clubs offer a diversity of eating experiences under the one roof.  Unlike a café or restaurant that tend to  specialise in one type of catering, a chef in a club prepares all types of catering for the diversity of member needs and for private functions.  The repeat nature of the clientele means the club has to keep producing something new each week.  These operations are therefore very much creative rather than highly process driven.  Naturally, there are higher costs in being a creative operation.

A club is largely capped in its clientele, based on the number of members. Whilst the services standards in most member clubs are expected to be high, there is most often an expectation that the profit margin on food is contained to what could be referred to as member prices.

One key area where clubs have grown to reflect the wider hospitality industry is the growth in the proportion of informal dining compared with formal dining.

Club Operation or Contract Caterers

Often clubs review their catering operation and consider whether it may be more cost effective to out-source the operation.  Clubs should consider carefully the pros and cons of outsourcing their operation such as the expectations of; cost and pricing, the diversity and quality of food offered and the control over decision making.  It is best to spend time comparing existing operations with similar clubs and to talk with clubs that have outsourced their catering to hear their insights.

Some Useful Sources of Information

Profitable Hospitality click here

Club Management Association Australia click here

Club Management Association of America click here Issues of "Club Magazine" inside

Club Resources International click here

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