Foodbuy had the chance to speak with Chris Serré, the Club House Manager at the prestigious Rosedale Golf Club. Rosedale is a private club nestled in Toronto’s downtown core. The Club is an official Donald Ross designed course and was founded in 1893.Chris Serré

We spoke to Serré about the challenges of operating a private club and what they are doing to keep up with changing demands. Chris has spent over 27 years working within the private club space and certainly knows the market.

Interestingly, Serré indicated that; “A good thing that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic was that it forced more menu and service innovation. Since golf clubs remained open for the most part, during the shutdown, members were spending more dining at the course. That forced the Club’s Executive Chef Victor de Guzman and team to be more creative. That creativity has been, and is being encouraged to continue. Our 1,400 members like to see new menu features, but they also want trusted favourites”.  This is a tough balancing act for all private clubs to walk. Serré said he is pushing for this as “traditionally, private clubs are slow to respond to menu changes. We are trying to accelerate that here.”

Serré continued, “we have a great core group of members, and the onus is on me and my team to give them reasons to come in, whether it’s quality, service, food, experiences or just the ongoing programming to try to drive traffic. In private clubs like ours, members travel the world, so you certainly have a ‘feedback rich environment’. We know quickly when prices are too high, or the quality or service is not meeting expectations. Our biggest asset is the instant feedback we get. At a normal restaurant, if a customer isn’t happy, they may not go back. Here, they tell us and we can pivot right away.”

Serré’s feels the three biggest problems a private club faces are:

1) The menu doesn’t change enough

2) The staff don’t know enough about the menu

3) Service is slow

Most members will tell you the same thing, “most clubs are a three-legged stool. Food and beverage is often the weak leg. We have a fantastic golf and turf operation and we want to strive to level up the food and beverage program to match.”

Serré is keeping an eye on product costs and sourcing, labour costs and speed of service. The Rosedale Golf Club has an almost four million dollar F&B operation. The results they need to obtain come from either driving revenues or controlling costs. As with most courses, labour is a key issue for Rosedale. They will have 80-100 staff throughout the peak summer periods which is a key budget driver.

On the cost and sourcing side Serré laid out his view. “First, it’s about the menu rotation, freshness and trying different things. As we plan our menus, I get our team to circle back to make sure we are taking advantage of everything we should be, with the opportunities afforded to us by Foodbuy to help us on the cost side. Rosedale also looks to shop for and include local products and we turn to Foodbuy to help here as well.”

On the labour side, “We are working with staff at all levels, front and back of house, to provide training and to better understand and support the member experience. Combined with the staff experience, we look at both areas to see what, and how, we can do it differently to exceed expectations”.

Serré says “in a nutshell, that’s the balancing act in a private club. Juggling the costs of products and services to meet member expectations while watching our pricing and menu mix.

The Rosedale Golf Club looks to Foodbuy to help control costs, source needed products, simplify procurement and identify cost-saving opportunities. With an expansive portfolio of both food and non-food programs, Foodbuy offers a full range of procurement solutions to meet the unique needs of golf and leisure clubs.


This is an excerpt from the Foodbuy 2024 Golf Club and Leisure Guide. To read the guide, click here.

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