Henry Stephenson advises golf clubs on how to enhance sales with improved food and drink offerings and by screening golf tournaments.

Henry Stephenson, Managing Director of Stephensons catering equipment suppliers, has worked closely with pubs in their shift towards food-led business and believes golf clubs can follow the same path.

According to the 2016 MCA Pub Market Report, pubs hold a 24.7% share in the total UK eating out market.

4 in 10 people now choose pubs ahead of restaurants for an evening meal, according to the January 2016 Greene King Leisure Tracker.

Henry Stephenson said, “Pubs have shown that food-led sales are lucrative; they have a sound business model that is transferable to golf clubs. Golf clubs already have regular footfall from their members which gives them a significant advantage over restaurants, pubs and bars.

“Simple updates to crockery and glassware can change how a golf club is perceived. Serving traditional meals on plain white crockery is suitable for events and formal meals, but presenting snacks and casual dishes on more creative crockery like small pots or bowls can tempt members into post-golf dining.

“The same goes for glassware. Glassware is a direct extension of the image a golf club is trying to convey. Choosing the right glass for each drink adds value.

“For example, a wine glass with a premium look and feel can enhance a customer’s dining experience whilst serving expensive wine in a budget glass can be off-putting and deter customers.

“Another example is gin and tonic. The popularity of gin-based drinks has improved dramatically in pubs, largely down to presentation. G&T used to be thrown in a glass with ‘ice and slice’ and with very little care or creativity, the drink really suffered. Simply serving gin & tonic in a stemmed balloon glass with a thin slice of fresh lemon and some large ice cubes can make all the difference.”

Henry Stephenson also sees potential in training staff to upsell, “Waiting staff can increase revenue just by asking customers if they are interested in extras. Pubs add considerable income by offering additional side dishes with main meals and then desserts and coffee afterwards.

“Maximise sales by adding a small selection of premium wines to the menu. This gives staff the opportunity to upsell by asking customers if they want to trade up from cheaper alternatives.”

Alongside updated food and drink presentation, Henry Stephenson believes screening live golf will tempt customers into the club bar this summer, “Golf tournaments are no longer viewable on terrestrial television in the UK so less people have access to the Ryder Cup, for example, in their homes. Golf clubs can capitalise on the void by screening games to attract more customers.”

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