Operations Making Headway | TheUnion.com

Operations Making Headway

Dustin Wright
Director of Food and Beverage

May has come to an end and the fiscal year has come to a close. In the final four months of Food and Beverage, our operation made significant headway, finishing the year very strong. We once again significantly came ahead of this month’s budget, which also included the banquet side of our operation.

The future looks bright for the Lake Wildwood Clubhouse! We have become an operation generating $1.7 million in sales this year, beating a projected budget of $1.5 million!

I often look back to when I took the position of the Restaurant and Bar Manager around a year and a half ago. I had a very secure management position in Folsom that I knew well and was successful and comfortable. However, when I applied for the position and it was offered, it took a week for me to accept.

After living in this community for a couple of years, I had frequented the Clubhouse often. I observed an operation that needed support, an identity and ownership. Additionally, I read all the negative comments posted on the NextDoor app.

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I knew a heavy workload and long hours would await me if any glimmer of success were to take place. And with a young family and newborn on the way, I knew the level of commitment needed would be taxing.

Early on, I was unsure the daunting task of righting the ship would ever happen. The operation had no procedures, recipe book, dinner menu or banquet menu, amongst many other things missing. What I inherited appeared to be spiraling downward.

By the time I was offered and accepted the Director position it was too late in the fiscal year, and we lost $704,000. This was an unacceptable number and we needed to act fast and change our culture.

In just one year’s time, we have improved our numbers by $281,000, doing our best to not sacrifice quality and service.

Some days I was sure we were doing our best to find the right ingredients for success; other days it felt as though we were still behind the eight ball. We have successfully turned the corner; however, we still have progress to make and we are.

More than you will ever know happens behind the scenes on a daily basis. We still have more to improve and expand upon, including a better operational procedure for a more effective “Grab and Go” for our golfers (I haven’t forgotten about you!) and developing better food presentation. These kinds of topics are discussed daily.

I will admit my main focus has been to stop the bleeding first, and to improve upon what was already in place. As mentioned, this journey has led us to these final four months in which we have greatly succeeded in turning around our numbers, coming out ahead of budget in the final four months. At this rate ,we will have the potential to beat budget for this new fiscal year.

This has certainly been a marathon — although most days it has felt more like a sprint. So much has changed in just one year’s time and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to achieve all we set out to do and all we plan to do.

Assistant Manager Krista Conrad, Event Manager Andi Miller and Kitchen Manager Chad Decosse are all truly special people, leading our team of talented servers and cooks.

I also feel grateful our General Manager, Bob Mariani, had the confidence in offering me the position of Director of Food and Beverage. He has been patient and skillful in his leadership, allowing me the opportunity to thrive and build a more successful operation.

The Oaks Clubhouse is in the best hands as we continue to bring the future of Food and Beverage to new heights.

We are still not the perfect operation but we will continue to strive to be better daily. Thank you for taking the time to read my reflection on the fiscal year.

Some exciting announcements for the upcoming month of July:

— Every Wednesday we continue to have Chris Crockett on the Patio from 6-8:30 p.m. in collaboration with our full dinner menu.

— Every Sunday until further notice Gary Regina will be playing his soft looping style of music during brunch from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.!

I am excited to announce a week of celebration for the week of the Fourth of July!

— Wednesday, July 3: Chris Crockett will be here on the Patio.

— Thursday, July 4 in the Park, along with the festivities we are hosting. Craft brewery Crooked Lane Brewing Company will be here pouring beer at one of the tents.

We will also be hosting newcomer musical guests “Dave Earl Blues Quartet” at the Clubhouse from 5–7:30 p.m.

— Friday, July 5: Lazy Hustler will be back on the patio starting at 6 p.m., performing country and classic hits!

— Saturday, July 6: is another “Free Comedy Night” hosted in our Cedar Room starting at 7 p.m.!

— Sunday, July 7: Gary Regina playing his looping styling of music for lunch as usual, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

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