Andrew Maggitti, CEC, Executive Chef of Chartwell G&CC, has developed a to-go holiday program that subtly reminds members their club is always there to support them.
As we prepare for the holiday season, many of us are asked to drive more revenue throughout the holiday months. As the Executive Chef of Chartwell Golf & Country Club (Severna Park, Md.), I am given this same task every year. Before beginning the process, I examine what we do well and how can we deliver this to our members in new ways, while maintaining the quality they expect and we demand.
Let’s start with Thanksgiving. We offer an à la carte to-go menu, where members can pick the food up at a given time between 12-3 PM. All food is presented HOT!! (Unless it is supposed to be cold.) Orders must be placed 48 hours ahead of time and all food is displayed in quality disposable pans. (We offer chaffer rentals as well.)
The menu items reflect what will be served on our Thanksgiving buffet at the Club. Here are some examples:
- Chartwell’s Famous Butter Rolls
- Sauerkraut (a local Maryland tradition)
- Golden Mashed Potatoes
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- Cornbread Dressing
- Whole Roasted Turkey
- Giblet Gravy (this is our biggest seller at over 7 gallons that we have leaving our kitchen)
- Cranberry Sauce
- Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie
As we prepare for Thanksgiving this year, I forecast that we will do more sales in to-go food than we will do on our in-house buffet. This is a great service to our members, and it is another way that we can showcase the offerings that we provide here at Chartwell.
Some may ask, “How can you do all this?” and “Why 48 hours of notice?” I’ll tell you how and why.
I try to stay just ahead of our members by reaching out to them and inviting them to place an order with us. I keep track of to-go orders every year, so I have a database that shows me, at a glance, who ordered what and when. You can imagine their surprise and delight when I call to check on them and see if they would like to order anything from us. Many will thank me and tell me how the holiday just snuck up on them and that it’s a huge relief to be able to order from us.
This seemingly small initiative also shows the members that we care about them to go the extra mile to help them. It’s like they have their own personal chef.
Next up is December. I know, we are all very busy, but this month really needs your time and focus because it presents a lot of opportunity! We offer a variety of food the members can pick up, hot or cold with 24 hours notice. This program supports with their in-home holiday parties and open houses, especially when all of our banquet rooms are completely booked and members need need to host at home. Once again, I built a database and I reach out to members from years past about a week ahead of time to see what their needs might be. I incorporate this into my daily/weekly prep list. Here are just a few things that we offer our members during this time:
- Crab Dip (Maryland tradition for any party)
- Shrimp Cocktail with Cocktail Sauce
- au Gratin “House” Potatoes
- Assorted Truffles – we offer 5 Different Flavors and are Sold in 25-piece increments
- Chef’s choice of variety of mini desserts
Would this work at your club? Is it worth a try? I think so and I know your members will be as excited about it as mine are.