The Evolving Country Club – What Menu Items Are Members Seeking?


If you want to retain and grow country club memberships, you need to adapt your offerings to the tastes of younger people while keeping older current members happy. Many of today’s diners are foodies and have developed sophisticated palates. They may have been raised watching The Food Network and Top Chef, and become familiar with cuisines and techniques foreign to many older diners. Consider these options to keep members interested and maybe a little challenged. 

Offer tastings or pairings to introduce them to new wines

Chances are that many members know their wines quite well, but you may be able to introduce them to developing regions or intriguing food/wine combinations. It can make a fun date night for couples or an opportunity for friends or business associates to gather and perhaps share their own knowledge. You can offer similar events with craft beers or fine liquors. Members may also welcome classes to get to know more about how to select the correct wine or detect various notes and flavors.  

Make dining options more flexible 

While your club may be known for its fine dining, consider also a fast casual option. It may be more conducive to a quick lunch for those who may not be able to linger, but enjoy spending time at the club. You could even offer takeout options to accommodate the needs of busy members while still enjoying the revenue they bring. 

Adapt to varying trends, needs and allergies

One of the major strengths of a country club is the ability to make its members feel cared for and special. By offering foods that accommodate diets from vegan to keto or allergies to various food products, you’ll give them a place to go where they can be assured their needs will be met. Clubs are evolving from the bastion of male exclusivity they once were. Many are finding success with more family friendly fare. 

Host niche-based food events.  

Offer tastings of different foods or techniques your members may enjoy. Like the wine, beer and liquor tastings, it offers a wonderful networking opportunity to a select clientele. Consider maybe a burger and beer night for a relaxed evening of socializing. 

Become a remote resource 

With the rise of workers who telecommute or entrepreneurs who enjoy a virtual office, you may be able to offer coworking space or meeting rooms. You may gain the revenue for more than one meal in a single workday.  

A 2014 study commissioned by the National Club Association found that club membership was down 20 percent from 1990. That means that you can’t afford to ignore the changing tastes and interests of potential members. 

Find top talent for your country club with Horizon Hospitality 

To keep your club relevant and your member roles full you’ll need to hire the right people. Contact the country club management recruiters at Horizon Hospitality today. We are experts in hiring proven leaders in country club recruitment.  



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