After Brookhaven CC’s pool reinvented its poolside snack bar, traffic quadrupled.
In its heyday, the poolside snack bar at Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, Texas, serviced members by way of a walkup window. Individuals could choose from a traditional menu of fast-food fare made on either flattops, grills, or in deep fryers.
But times have changed—and so has the club’s pool.
Brookhaven’s aquatic area now houses three swimming pools that make the club a tropical summer paradise, including one pool designated for adults only. There is also a splash pad for kids, 19 poolside cabanas with ceiling fans, and The Haven, a poolside, open-air bar.
Everything aquatics at Brookhaven is top of the line. But the once-successful snack bar was no longer able to keep up with demand. Lines were long, wait times were longer, and members wanted more.
So last year, the club decided to close and revamp the space. Four weeks later, it reopened as the “Dive In”—and members, especially younger ones, have never been so happy.
“We basically turned it into an upscale grab-and-go concept that’s more like a convenience store than a snack bar,” says Robert Bleibtrey, Brookhaven’s Director of Operations.
The Dive In features lots of variety, which has proved to be an important component when servicing everyone from hungry, candy-seeking kids to health-conscious, salad-seeking adults.
“We offer a number of boxed-meal options, like salads, wraps, and artisan-bread sandwiches,” says Bleibtrey. “Everything is made in the main clubhouse and transported to the reach-in coolers inside the Dive In.”
There are also packaged snacks, as well as a milkshake machine. Hot choices like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders and fries are also still available.
“When we were trying to decide what to put inside the Dive In, I tried to put myself in a kid’s shoes,” says Bleibtrey. “I wanted to figure out what would excite them and what would make this outlet different from any other pool they could go to.”
Bulk candy bins proved to be the differentiator. With everything from Red Hots and Sweet Tarts to yogurt-covered blueberries and trail mix, the Dive In invites members to be playful with their choices.
“They pay on bag size, not weight or per item,” says Bleibtrey, who notes that members pay with their member number. “We have four different bag sizes, so they can build their own and take two pieces of one and twenty of another if they want.”
There are also new, safe choices for allergy-sensitive members. Plus, all of the packaging for the Dive In is green.
“We brought in a lot of different packaging products before finding the one that works best for us,” says Bleibtrey. “We wanted something that was attractive, but sustainable.”
A year later, the snack bar transformation has proved to be hugely successful not only in terms of member satisfaction and usage, but also operationally.
“Traffic has quadrupled,” says Bleibtrey. “It’s been a home run with families. From an operational standpoint, it’s much more efficient to run, too.”