Golf Course Restaurant: Our Guide to A Successful Operation
One of the essential things for golf course restaurants is having a restaurant strategy. If you are not putting enough thought into your restaurant’s design, location, and menu options, that can hurt profits.
The reality is that your golf course restaurant attracts many people who will be there for about two to four hours. Many customers get hungry and might end up buying food from the restaurant.
To keep customers coming back, you need to provide good food and proper branding.
If you are the general manager of a golf course, you probably aren’t an expert in restaurant management. You may find it challenging to implement changes or develop new strategies for your golf course restaurant because this is not something that comes naturally to many people.
The failure to manage a golf course restaurant can be detrimental, and it takes time and money to do so. This guide that we’ve put together will help you choose the best management system for your golf course.
Branding: What’s Your Goal?
For a golf course restaurant to succeed, several factors must work together. Golf course restaurants face the same challenges.
The first step to running a successful golf course restaurant is deciding your essence. What do you want the people who come in contact with your establishment to feel?
Various factors, including ambiance, determine a golf course restaurant’s success.
If you are thinking about opening a golf-themed restaurant, some questions need to be answered:
- What is the target audience?
- What do they want in terms of food and drink offerings?
- Where should my business be located?
- How much money do I need for startup costs and initial inventory purchases?
The question of where to play golf is a difficult one. You need to know your entire course’s brand, how it fits the local market and what services you offer.
Golf courses vary in what they offer. Some have a luxurious experience with top-notch amenities and customer service, while others are geared more towards families or seniors living in gated communities.
How Will Customers Interact With My Golf Course Restaurant?
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to develop a strategy that attracts them. You need to think of what they are looking for in convenience, service, and dining.
Golf courses can do well by offering a more casual restaurant, fine dining experience, or something in between.
The audience at your golf course may be looking for a different type of restaurant. You could have multiple restaurants, with each one serving a specific purpose or theme.
To offer a variety of food and services, some golf courses will have both quick-serve restaurants for people in a rush before their round or with limited time who want something fast, as well as an ample casual dining experience at the clubhouse.
Restaurants at golf courses can be divided into two categories: fast food and full service.
- Fine dining
- Casual dining
- Pub style
- Quick serve counter service
- Grab ‘n’ go
- Snack shack
- Cart service
- Food trucks
Once you know what your golf club restaurant’s brand is, it will be easier to decide the products and services that need to be offered.
The experience of a restaurant should be signaled by its name, menu items, and pricing. For example, higher-quality food expectations can come from a high price or specialized dishes.
A restaurant’s branding is based on the following factors: -Target audience. Who are you catering to? You can’t serve a high-end steak in an upscale establishment if your target customer base doesn’t have that kind of money.
- Menu Items
- Service speed and quality
- Hours of operation
Planning and developing your restaurant is much easier when you have a clear branding strategy.
Remember what your brand means to customers as you build new service offerings, management processes, and staffing.
Behind the restaurant, there is a team of people that keep everything running smoothly. They are responsible for making sure that every customer leaves happy and satisfied.
When it comes to the kitchen, I can’t stress enough how important organization is. The environment in a busy kitchen is often hot and chaotic, with chefs working quickly and making mistakes left and right if they’re not organized.
In the kitchen, communication and organization are critical to a successful restaurant. If these aspects do not go well in this area of your business, then it will affect everything else.
I have learned to pay attention to these key areas when I’m organizing my business:
- Order processing
- Inventory management
- Planning and preparation
- Layout optimization
- Menu development
Gathering feedback about the challenges that kitchens face every day can help you find solutions to these problems.
One of the most common places for service interruptions is during order. When a server mishears an order, or if a customer asks for something last minute and needs to be prepared in the kitchen, this will affect how long other people’s orders take.
One way to improve order processing is by hiring more employees. Another option, which can benefit smaller companies with tight budgets, is automation.
- Communication between the front and back of the house needs to be improved.
- Use modern software tools.
The first step to improving communication is by having employees trained on the company’s processes. For example, you need clear steps for creating and sending an order.
It is common for high-volume restaurants to use an integrated system with kitchen displays with the POS. The server inputs their order into the point of sale and gets instant feedback on what needs to be done in the kitchen.
One of the most significant drawbacks in restaurants is that people often make mistakes while ordering food. This new trend, self-service kiosks, eliminates this problem because customers can enter their orders and send them right away to be made more quickly.
Additional Resources Blog: Mobile Order-Ahead: How Online Ordering Helps Restaurants Capitalize on Convenience Blog: Why self-order menus make sense for your independent restaurant Blog: How to Improve Restaurant Efficiency Blog: Off-Premise Restaurant Sales: How to Offer Delivery and Takeout Service Blog: The Benefits of Online Meal Delivery Services
Kitchens often find themselves with limited ingredients and therefore must improvise. When a restaurant is running low on an element, they may need to change their menu or not serve certain dishes.
On the other hand, a lack of inventory can lead to spoilage and higher costs.
A well-planned inventory management strategy is the key to success. The organization of ingredients in your kitchen can significantly help, but modern POS technology also aids this process.
If you are concerned that too much food will waste, have staff separate spoiled food and measure daily output. If there’s a lot of spoilage in your kitchen, it may be because inventory management has become an issue.
Planning & Preparation
If you are not ready for a rush, your service will suffer. For example, if the kitchen is unprepared for lunch and dinner hours, customers can be waiting longer than they should.
Prep cooks need to be in early enough to prep all the ingredients before service begins, chefs and management should work together on what menu items are available that day, and front-of-house staff needs clear instructions.
This includes discussing any changes that have been made since the last time they were served or which items are bestsellers.
Kitchen Layout Optimization
Kitchen design can significantly impact how orders are processed, who does what in the kitchen, and when it needs to be done. The optimal layout depends mainly on the kind of restaurant you operate and the size of space available.
The three critical areas that a golf club restaurant needs to have are:
- A place for customers and staff members to order food
- Food preparation space, including sinks and refrigerators freezers
- Storage spaces where ingredients can be kept cool or cold until the kitchen team needs them during prep time or service hours
When designing a kitchen, five areas have to be taken into account. These four spaces must exist in the right proportions for your staff’s sanity:
- The Front of House space is where guests come and go from
- The Service Area is where food service takes place
- Food Storage should be clean, organized, dry, and pest-free so it can store all foods properly
- Pantry storage needs to accommodate fresh produce as well as long term items like pasta or rice
The kitchen can be challenging because many different layouts could make sense. However, five types of design are most common:
- Assembly line layout
- Island layout
- Zone-style layout
- Galley layout
- Open kitchen layout
For the layout of your golf club restaurant, you need to consider what kind of food and drinks are served. You also have to think about which design will work best for your location.
You can find more information about the different kitchen layouts here.
One of the most critical tasks for a restaurant is optimizing its menu. This means introducing items with high-profit margins or trying out new ideas for many restaurants.
When it comes to menu optimization, kitchen staff should be looking for ways to improve production speed and maintain quality while minimizing food costs.
The kitchen staff should be consulted about proposed menu items because they know what is possible and unrealistic for their space.
A successful restaurant at a golf course has a lot of factors to consider when designing the menu. For example, you need to find items that will sell well and encourage customers to spend more money on food than they had initially planned. Fortunately, we have written an article about this topic.
Managing The Front House
The staff at the front desk will treat every customer that comes to your golf course.
The quality of service your staff provides is crucial to the success of your restaurant. If you want happy customers, they must have a good experience and recommend this place.
To improve sales, take a look at how your front-of-house staff treats customers and provide an enjoyable experience. If you have friendly service, they will most likely spend more money on food.
When evaluating your front-of-house team, there are a few areas to keep in mind:
- Service quality
- Technological support
- Selling strategy
The quality of your service is determined by the staff you hire, how well they are trained and what kind of restaurant it is.
If you are running a fine dining restaurant, it is essential to have servers who understand the details of what makes your establishment special.
Training new hires are complex because there are no perfect examples to follow. There needs to be a mix of experienced staff and recruits for it works.
When it comes to a pub-style experience, you can get away with hiring front-of-house managers and using an excellent training program.
Technological Support For Service
Today, we know that the customer experience is highly dependent on technology. Every day our servers interact with point of sale machines and payment processing equipment and reservation management software, and customer loyalty tools.
Many restaurants use cloud-based POS tools to help their staff improve service levels. These software programs are user-friendly as they can update orders in the kitchen while being easy for customers with payment processing.
Beyond the traditional way of thinking about service, there are now systems that enable customers to order and pay for their food at a restaurant without waiting in line. These advances make it easier than ever before to get fast food-style service from casual restaurants.
There are many benefits to self-serve kiosks and table-side ordering.
The most significant advantage of service team-only restaurants is that waiters and cashiers can focus on what they do best: customer knowledge and sales, not taking orders or processing payments.
There are many ways technology can automate time-consuming tasks and make the customer experience better. For example, online reservation software makes it easier for customers to book tables without long phone conversations, while payment processing tools help split checks at restaurants.
Implementing A Better Selling Strategy
To create a successful sales strategy, you must consider the type of restaurant and atmosphere you are trying to achieve.
You should train staff to push the most popular menu items and provide good service to maximize your profit.
When the goal is to sell as much food and drinks at a more upscale restaurant, your waiter should push for higher-priced wine options. They can also offer appetizers or desserts with the meal.
In casual and counter service restaurants, the goal is to make as much money from each customer as possible. It’s not about taking your time or providing a great experience; it’s just about getting them in and out of there quickly so you can fill that table again.
Managing A Large Staff
Managing your staff in a restaurant is the key to success.
With high turnover rates, managing staff can be challenging. For example, restaurant owners must put in place processes and procedures to ensure that they can manage their team smoothly.
The best way to manage your staff is by optimizing:
- Hiring practices
Hiring Your Restaurant Staff
It is a common trend for people to leave restaurant jobs after they have been there only about six months. A lot of this has to do with the perception that service positions are not long-term careers, so managers need an effective hiring strategy to prepare themselves.
Write a good job advertisement.
I don’t know if you’ve tried, but I have a tip for how to find better applicants. Put some effort into selling your restaurant’s unique culture and highlight the benefits of working there.
You might be thinking that all job seekers are qualified, but this is not the case. No matter how high-quality your company or position may seem to you, it’s likely there will still be people who have a higher quality of life and better work-life balance in mind.
Make postings everywhere
Increasing the number of candidates for a job will help you find that perfect employee. Post your openings on websites, bulletin boards at schools, and more.
Encourage employee referrals
One way to find good employees is by asking your current ones for referrals. They will tell you what they like and dislike about their work environment, which means that they would either fit in or not based on those traits.
It can be a significant hassle for golf courses to hire and manage temporary employees, so here is how you can implement better hiring strategies.
Onboarding And Training Procedures
When you have hired your salespeople, it is essential to give them a plan for success. For example, each role will be different, but different topics should cover company culture and expectations.
1. Provide general information
I recommend creating a handbook that outlines expectations for new employees. These include start and end times, scheduling shifts with co-workers, etc.
Employees need to be given all the information they will need for their first few days on the job. Ensure that your handbook is available and can serve as a resource guide during this time.
One way to help motivate your salespeople is by teaching them about any tools specific to their business. This helps give employees a sense of ownership over their job.
Chances are your restaurant has a different way of doing things than other restaurants, so new employees will need to be trained on how the company operates day-to-day.
A point of sale is vital in a restaurant. When new employees are hired, they need to be trained on how the POS works and what it does.
Another idea is to give them a taste of what the job entails by having someone who has been in that position for some time show them around and answer any questions they may have.
Training is a great way to teach employees how to do their job, but no better than seeing experienced staff in action. Once the training process has been completed and new hires have learned what they need, they should learn firsthand from senior salespeople.
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a restaurant is ensuring that your employees have enough hours to work. No matter how many rules you put in place, there will always be conflicts.
Cloud-based software now makes it easier than ever to create a shift schedule. These programs also allow easy tracking of when employees clock in and out and hours, work, and payroll.
To maintain a successful restaurant, you need to have enough staff on hand for peak hours while making sure there are not too many people during slower periods.
Reporting tools that provide information about how many hours your employees have worked and what they’ve sold is a great way to plan for the busiest periods. You can even see which of your salespeople are making the most money during those times with cloud-based reporting.
When you are training new employees, it may make sense to schedule them for a shadowing period with your top performers so they can get an idea of how to be more productive.
Planning a Restaurant Marketing Strategy
One of the best ways to generate foot traffic into your restaurant is marketing with an excellent-looking tee sheet.
When it comes to marketing, golf courses are a captive audience. Golfers will often take an hour’s break for lunch and play the entire day, so you have two-to-five hours of opportunity with them.
Golf restaurants can market themselves by using social media, having an appealing website, and even advertising on the radio.
- Text message marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media
Build a clear plan for marketing channels to make sure you reach your target audience and get the word out about your product or service.
Get Creative With Your Restaurant Promotions
It’s important to remember that the first part of this guide was about branding. That is where you will start seeing how your promotional strategy can work for you.
If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts, take some time and think about how best to promote. If not, then you might risk hurting your brand by running an unthoughtful promotion.
Promotion should be based on the type of restaurant you are running.
If you run a high-quality restaurant, running discounted burger and beer specials might damage the reputation of your business. Instead, save those types of promotions for low-brow restaurants like sports bars.
This way, you can reduce customer resistance to spending more money and simplify your kitchen’s workload.
Keep your promotions fresh and exciting with the occasional two-for-one offer, taco Tuesday, or an all-you-can-eat event.
The way you promote your restaurant and the offer being promoted are essential. Next, we will explore different ways to share a promotion or experience with potential customers and how this can be done by what they would want.
Perfect Timing With Text Message Marketing
You’re playing a round of golf, and you receive an enticing text from the bar about their happy hour specials. You might as well make your way to the 19th hole because the chances are high that after receiving this message, you will visit them.
Text message marketing is a proven strategy that has worked for many golf courses. Walters Golf Management, which invested in the text messaging program 18 months ago, saw an increase of over 10% in revenue from food and beverage sales.
Text messages are a great way to communicate with customers, but they can also be annoying. The best text messages should contain information about products or services the customer is interested in and not just constant promotions.
Used Smart And Nuanced Email Marketing
A golf course restaurant might not be expected to promote themselves via email, but the majority of time is usually spent promoting tee times and specials in emails.
Email newsletters and tee-time promotions are excellent for promoting your restaurant to existing customers. This is especially useful if you have a new menu or special event coming up.
Automated email marketing is an effective way to build relationships with customers and follow up after their visit.
A POS is a great way to reach out and contact customers who may be interested in specials, promotions, or events at your clubhouse.
Social Media: Your Best Restaurant Marketing Channel Your
Social media is a great way to increase your restaurant’s online reach. A Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, and Twitter account will help you build an audience that wants to hear about the new menu items or any other exciting changes.
The first step is to create a complete and up-to-date social media profile with contact information, location, website, and high-quality pictures of both your dining room as well as the menu. You can register on Facebook or Instagram through their business interface.
Most people will search for your restaurant and look at review sites, so ensuring that you have a complete Yelp profile is essential. This includes ensuring all contact information is up-to-date, providing quality images with reviews answered.
Social media is a vital tool for your restaurant. Post about new dishes drink specials, and wine selections to create a personal connection with customers.
When you post to social media, make sure that the quality of your posts represents who you are as a business.
When it comes to social media, the last thing you need is a strategy for turning your customers into promoters. It’s probably one of the essential strategies.
Nearly everyone these days has a social media account. If you are in the restaurant business, it is not hard to find that people post food pictures with hashtags and tags on their performances.
Customer reviews online are an excellent way to improve your business. When people post about their experience at your restaurant, it’s as if they’re telling the world how great you are.
One way to encourage customers is by offering a special treat if they post online about your restaurant.
- Tag your restaurant in Instagram stories to be found more easily.
- Encourage customers to share food with friends and add your restaurant handle on the menu.
- Offer a discount on their next purchase if they share with friends online.
- You can ask a customer to be tagged in one of your Instagram posts.
- This is an idea that I had but never tried. It’s possible it could work well for businesses with customers who are loyal to them.
If you have a successful word-of-mouth campaign, the discussion will be online, and your local awareness will increase.
Back To Table of Contents
You Need A Dedicated Restaurant Website
Golf courses need websites, and they should include a page for the restaurant. A separate website that focuses on your golf course might also be beneficial.
A website can be of immense value if you are in the restaurant business. Showcase your beautiful dining room and dishes with high-quality pictures so that people will feel like they have been there before coming to eat.
Creating a website for your restaurant helps show that you are serious about the food and assures potential diners that they will have a fantastic experience. Websites can help make sure people know what to expect when coming in.
Back To Table of Contents
Getting Your Restaurant Formula Right Takes Time And Energy
The restaurant business is tough to break into. To get your establishment off the ground, you will have to be okay with long hours and high overhead expenses like rent, food costs, etcetera.
To improve, you must experiment and iterate to find the perfect formula. Whether your branding strategy, marketing efforts, or staff processes, there are high chances of improvement for some areas, even if you aren’t aware yet.
Though it is not easy, you will find that putting in the work can be worth your time.
In this article, I hope to inspire you if your restaurant is not performing as well as it should be. You may have a great idea in mind but need help executing the plan. Consider what guests might want from your golf course and ensure they find those amenities at your restaurant.
If you are looking to increase sales for your restaurant this season, talk with one of our experts today. We have many years of experience in the food and beverage industry, which will help guide you through any difficulties that arise.