As country clubs were preparing for the season, a madly insane thing happened on the way to the first tee. COVID-19 has taken over the world of private clubs and, more importantly, in our daily lives. As a result, general managers and boards have had to think fast on their feet to continue to provide the level of member service and amenities that members have come to expect. Moreover, they have been faced with balancing outstanding member service while also taking care of their employees during this most difficult time. Many employees have been with their club for many years and consider the membership as an extension of their family.
Clubs have had to be creative in continuing the level of member service expected. Granted, many clubs are providing take-out service to the members, but others have gone above and beyond in providing options for members to utilize the food and beverage services.
Mizner Country Club, located in Boca Raton and led by GM/COO, Larry Saviides, CCM, has taken their services to a new level. He transitioned their restaurant, CRAFT, into a market called CRAFTMART, offering perishables, baked goods, beverages, and prepared foods to their members. “The health and welfare of our members and employees is our number one priority as we consistently adjust our operations to adapt to today’s ever-changing environment,” Larry stated. “Our Board of Directors and management team are determined during these difficult times to help our members in any way possible. So, in addition to making our menu available to our members for curbside pick-up or delivery, we have created a shopping experience for them to purchase essential items.”
Marcus Ilie, GM/COO of Bear Lakes, has taken it one step further to keep the level of member service commensurate with member expectations. He began by building an outdoor kitchen, but due to the governor’s order, he had to shut it down. Instead, Ilie created Bear Lakes Marketplace, offering perishable goods, beverages, and prepared foods. Because of the club’s commitment to not furlough any staff, employees are completing various projects, community outreach, and member delivery during these difficult times. “Order from anywhere on our property from a click of a button, and we will deliver hospitality with a smile. The answer is still the same. ONE TEAM, ONE PURPOSE!” said Marius during a phone conversation.
Michael McCarthy, GM/COO of Addison Reserve Country Club, explained they offer virtual events, including live bands and virtual happy hours, to keep his members on property, still enjoying club life and member service. “In an effort to continue to motivate our staff, we have given all hourly employees a $2 per hour raise for premium. I am proud to say that we have not eliminated any positions, as we realize the importance our staff means to the overall success of the club. We, too, are delivering anything our members need, be it a banana, an orange from our market, or even picking up a prescription at the pharmacy. We are delivering 800 take-outs to our members around the property, so they do not have to leave their homes.”
During hard times, clubs always seem to step it up. General Managers and Boards always understand the importance of member service. During these times, specifically, they want to keep their family intact and not lose any team members. However, clubs will continue to think outside the box, and, once this is over, they may have to consider the addition of leadership to the club. We at Goodwin Recruiting, are here for our clubs during these difficult times to assist in any way.
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