C+RC’s Editor, Joanna DeChellis, wants to facilitate hard conversations and dig into the ways club chefs are building trust with members and with each other.
Every year, the Club + Resort Chef team comes up with an editorial calendar that details the stories we plan to write for the entire year. The sales team uses the “edit cal” as a menu to help advertisers position their programs. I use it as a content roadmap.
In April, our 2020 edit calendar got tossed out the window. Between COVID-19, quarantines, shutdowns, the wrongful murder of George Floyd and the scale and depth of the protests that followed, it felt callous and trivial to write stories about smoothies, satellite outlets and popup events.
There is an overwhelming appetite in our industry for content that addresses real and lasting change. Chefs are gravitating toward articles that address important problems and offer solutions or start conversations.
For example, we worked with Scott Craig, CEC, CCA, WCMC, Director of Culinary Operations for Myers Park Country Club (Charlotte, N.C.), to publish a Post-Quarantine F&B Playbook that generated over 900 downloads. We did a podcast with Fred Ramsey, CEC, Executive Chef of Pelican Golf Club (Bellaire, Fla.), which led to the story on diversity in this issue. We’ve been posting more blogs by more chefs as they navigate all of the challenges around them. And other chefs are sharing those posts across social media, to start new conversations and connect with new colleagues.
More and more, club chefs are standing up as a force for good in our society. They are reexamining their wider roles and responsibilities. They are donating their time and resources to help healthcare workers and others impacted by disaster. They’re speaking out against racism. They’re hiring cooks who have been let go from restaurants, and mentoring students so they can see the value of working in club environments.
But is everyone? Are you?
I’m working to widen my network of club chefs and connect with those I don’t know and haven’t met yet. I’m doing this on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. If I haven’t connected with you yet, I hope to soon.
I don’t want to just write stories that I think are important or only showcase ideas from the people I already know. I want to write stories that you think are important, too. I want to facilitate hard conversations and dig into the ways you’re building trust with your members, and with each other.
Even if that means changing our planned content again, it’s the right way to make sure we’re all on the right path.