Clubhouse—Come a long way since November
By Dustin Wright
Director of Food and Beverage
Taking over the role of Director of Food and Beverage here at The Oaks has been a sprint. When I was asked to assume this role, I knew I would be undertaking an operation so neglected in regards to its staff support, budget and community outreach. As just mentioned, this position has been a sprint; it needed to be — our food costs were through the roof (69 percent), our uniform company was billing us weekly for hundreds of dollars’ worth of unneeded product and our team needed to feel supported.
We have certainly come a long way since my start last November — decreasing costs, driving sales and filling our venue with entertainment. With that said, I know more work needs to be done. Costs of goods sold are still shy of what they need to be and I am working hard to analyze the numbers to improve upon them, as well as putting pressure on our suppliers to offer more competitive pricing, including better rebates on purchases.
This year when developing the budget, I set a very aggressive projected sales target number for the summer months. We just missed it; however, I am confident in the coming months we will beat the projected target number and offer a balance to previous months. Please know the problem does not lie with a lack of community members coming out to enjoy our venue. The Oaks has been host to many successful nights of music and dinner service and for that we are humbled. The problem I am working hard to improve upon involves our cost of goods sold and operating cost within our budget of a 40 percent food cost.
Labor also plays a factor in reaching our budgeted numbers for the Clubhouse, and we continue to find patterns in the day-to-day business flow and change staffing accordingly. I peeled back and observed trends, and there are two days we do not have enough foot traffic to support the cost of labor. These two days are Monday and Tuesday at lunchtime. After very careful consideration between Chef Eric, Krista, myself and the General Manager, starting Monday, Sept. 17, we will be closing the Pine Room dining area on Mondays and Tuesdays for lunch. We believe this decision will be very beneficial in battling our labor costs.
For perspective, on these two slower days we will no longer need to staff a hostess, two servers and one of our cooks. However, we will still have the bar menu in the 19th Hole on Mondays and Tuesdays during lunch hours at the normal run time, starting at 11 a.m. The bar menu has many great options for lunch, and we will also run daily specials on these two days.
Since my start I have done all I can to open as many doors for our operation; the last thing I would want is to close one. While we continue to balance our operation, however, taking away two very significantly slower lunch days feels like the best business decision at this time.
As mentioned earlier The Oaks has certainly been at capacity during the evenings. We have live music on the Terrace and during dinner service. Our team greatly appreciates the support as we continue to pick away at training needs and consistency in all areas. We will continue to find innovative ways to keep things fresh. Some examples of this include our first-ever free Comedy Night on the Terrace on Friday, Sept. 21, a four-course wine dinner we will be advertising for the month of October and changes to our dinner menu!
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.