Club chefs have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to switching up the menu to intrigue their member’s tastes.
There are a handful of reasons a club chef may shake up the menu, the primary examples being cost, seasonality, and increased member engagement. At the very least, an Executive Club Chef should check in on potential menu changes quarterly removing dishes that aren’t selling and adding new dishes or components to keep the menu balanced and fresh. Since club dining depends on keeping frequent members happy and engaged, more frequent changes in addition to specials and themed menus can also be very beneficial.
Semi-Annual Menu Audits
The most common reason to change a menu comes down to the popularity of the dish and the costs associated with keeping that dish on the menu. For example, the market price of certain ingredients may fluctuate, and if the dish isn’t being order enough to justify keeping those ingredients on hand, it might be time to either reinvent the dish or replace it with something more salable.
Seasonality and Diet
Seasonal ingredients can inspire important shifts in the menu, especially when club chefs work with local suppliers. Heavier, root-vegetable meals in the winter balance lighter dishes in the summer, for example.
Dietary changes and trends should also be taken into account. If a club chef suddenly has more requests for vegan or gluten-free items, changing up these options will serve a wider breadth of members.
Menu specials are quite standard, especially in clubs and resorts where repeat diners are common. Adding a handful of special meals or drinks to the menu will encourage members to dine at the club throughout the week.
There will always be a few customer favorites that should remain on the menu from year to year. However, small tweaks to these frequently ordered dishes—or adding them into a rotating seasonal menu—will also appeal to those with an affinity for that special dish.
All in all, a club chef must take cues from their members and their club’s dining style. If the club welcomes and celebrates constant change, the menu should rotate more frequently.