With chefs already in the kitchen doing prep, Scioto CC decided to launch a daily breakfast.
Three years ago, Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio completed a full renovation of its 99-year-old clubhouse facility through a $12 million, two-year, two-phase project.
The planning for the project was four years in the making and included a lot of early-morning meetings between General Manager Greg Wolf, CCM, CCE and other club leaders, architects, builders and contractors involved with the project. Typically, these gatherings took place at a family-friendly breakfast chain located across the street from Scioto’s clubhouse.
“It seemed like we were meeting there once a week,” says Wolf, who has been with Scioto for 12 years. “Every time we’d meet, I’d look around the restaurant and see 10 or 15 of our members eating breakfast and I’d think to myself, ‘This doesn’t make sense. They’re right here. Why can’t they eat at their club?’”
So Wolf sat down with Scioto’s Executive Chef, Kieran Dillon, who has also been at the club for 12 years, and asked if it would be possible to add daily breakfast service to Scioto’s $3.5 million F&B operation, which is split 70/30 between a la carte and banquet.
“We’re located in the perfect place to offer breakfast to our membership,” says Wolf, noting that Scioto is a quick eight minutes from downtown Columbus and that 90% of the club’s 1,100 members live within three nearby zip codes. “Chef agreed. Plus, we had staff in the kitchen in the early mornings prepping for events and the day ahead. That meant it wouldn’t cost any additional back-of-house labor to offer breakfast as a new amenity to members.”
And so plans were hatched that led to Scioto opening its Donald Ross Room and 1916 Grille for breakfast Tuesday through Friday, 7:00 AM through 10:30 AM. (Scioto has always offered breakfast on the weekends. In its men’s grille, breakfast costs $7 on Saturday and Sunday, no matter what is ordered.)
The menu is intentionally simple and easy to execute. It features omelets, eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, oatmeal porridge, French toast and a parfait. Sides are typical breakfast staples, such as bacon, sausage, home fries, bagels, toast, English muffins and fruit. Ditto for drinks, which range from juices to coffee.
Because the club offers an elegant, traditional Sunday brunch, and has since the 1950s, many of the ingredients and recipes needed for the new daily breakfast option were already in-house, so it was plug-and-play. One server was brought in to handle all of the breakfast covers, which range between 10 and 40 a day.
“Weekly, we’ll see anywhere between 100 and 125 covers,” says Wolf. “It’s not about making money, but providing an enhancement to the membership at very little cost.”
And since Scioto started offering breakfast, a new tradition has started with a steady group of a dozen or so members who now come to breakfast weekly.
“New traditions are good for clubs,” says Wolf. He hopes to see the daily breakfast option continue to grow and further embed itself into the fabric of Scioto’s operation—much like Sunday brunch.