As “the oldest country club in the United States,” with 1,800 members and $7 million in annual food-and-beverage revenue, the Top Ranked team at The Philadelphia Cricket Club (PCC) feels responsible for honoring its heritage. Still, at PCC, ‘traditional’ doesn’t equate to stuffy or stale, notes Executive Chef Benjamin Burger.
To keep pace with labor challenges, PCC has expanded its HR team to include a dedicated recruiting specialist who works closely with the culinary team.
“Of course, we believe a positive work culture and efficiency in hiring should be the bare minimum,” says Burger. “We’re always looking to raise the bar, not skate by it. It would be unfortunate if we were at risk of missing out on talent because they could make a more livable wage elsewhere. Thankfully, our members understand and support our needs, and they were eager to fund an increase in payroll that kicked in a year ago. No one here earns less than $15 per hour, and 98% of our culinary staff, including stewards, currently earn above this threshold and are trending upwards.”
PCC also rewards culinary staff for their hard work with food-and-beverage bonuses. Members are billed a service charge for all food they purchase at the club, and 4% of this goes into a pool split quarterly among all staff who have worked at least 250 hours for that bonus period. This pool is shared between both front- and back-of-house employees.
“This supports our collaborative team atmosphere while allowing our focus to be less on personal finances and more on the business of making members happy,” says Burger. “As our club leadership always says, ‘Happy employees take the best care of our members.'”
The club has taken a fresh look at how it supports work-life balance for its employees via sustainable staffing schedules.
“In many cases, we’ve been able to implement four-day work weeks for both hourly staff and managers,” says Burger, with the current goal of staff working four days a week with the ability for everyone to get at least one weekend day off.
“You’ll never hear, ‘It’s how it’s always been’ as an excuse at PCC,” says Burger. “We insist on being a place where employees are shown they are valued, not only with words but with actions, such as increased compensation and quality-of-life initiatives. It’s who we are and the most important element of our success in attracting and retaining staff.”
The Philadelphia Cricket Club was named the #4 Top Ranked Culinary Experience in 2023. View the full list here and PCC’s Top Ranked profile here.