Club Catering Professional Association

Table Talk
  What's on the Menu This Month. . . 

  October, 2018
Table Talk is the newsletter of the Association of Club Catering Professionals. Each month, we will be serving up huge helpings of incredible ideas, marketing bits & bites and revenue-driving inspiration. Sit down, grab a fork and join us for a feast. . . 
In this issue...
Announcing the 2019 National Conference Location!
The Magic of the Holidays!
Smart Budgeting for 2019

ACCP Careers

Photography by KLK Photography (top right photo) and
Caroline Tran (bottom photo)

 Announcing the 2019 National Conference Location!
Save the Date!
We are heading to the
Rocky Mountains!

in Colorado

August 25-27, 2019

Registration Opens in December, 2018

Creating Holiday Magic with
4 Areas of “Experiences”
Ready or not, here they come! Starting with Halloween, the holidays are upon us! Which means, your Members and event hosts are getting ready to party. Let’s make sure we are ready, too!

Now is the perfect time to take a close look at your event bookings for the month of November and December and make sure you are maximizing your revenue and experience opportunities. December for many clubs has the largest sales volume and simultaneously has even bigger opportunities for growing the revenues.  There is a saying that goes something like this, “What is right in front of us is often harder to see than something that is far away.”  This saying has a direct correlation to the month of December and holiday sales. There is a lot of repeat business in the month of December and we do count on those companies year after year, however sometimes we don’t look close enough to find the business that is right in front of us.  We have those parties booked; however, is there an opportunity to increase the revenue from each event a little bit more? Often times we find that clubs understand that the month of December is a "given" for big sales and large company holiday parities, so we have a tendency to get comfortable with what
we know is going to be big. We don’t always take the time or give it the attention to make it even BIGGER.  Do we use the magnifying glass when it comes to realizing the club’s full potential for December sales?

Ask yourself… Have I asked and answered all the right questions?  There are the “given” questions, but I am referring to the more in-depth, analytical type of questions.

For example, the given questions might be: Is every Friday & Saturday booked? Have we called all our clients from prior years? Have we reached our sales goals and/or budget for the year? What days do we still have available to book? Are the companies spending the same amount as they have in prior years?

Let’s take it a step further (get out the magnifying glass) to the next layer of questions to ask:

Is every Friday & Saturday booked to maximum capacity and have we maximized the full revenue potential for every room and every event?  What can we offer to increase our booked business by $5 a cover?  Do the math.  In the month of December, most clubs have the largest cover counts for private events, so if you could increase your revenues by $5 or even up to $10 a person that would mean substantial increase in sales for food and beverage. 

Next, I want you to break-down your holiday event "experiences" into 4 areas:
1. Perfect Event Space
2. Festive Fare
3. Seasonally-Inspired Spirits
4. Experiential Elements

These four areas ensure that you have all the major touch-points covered to plan a fabulous event.

1.  Perfect Event Space
Perfect event spaces take many forms – depending on what your member or event host’s definition of “perfect” is! Keep this in mind when designing, showing and selling your space. Keep the palette neutral enough so everyone can customize their own look. Better yet, have all of the options at your fingertips so that you can customize it for them. Have photos of different looks ready to show, including rentals, lighting techniques, linens and décor. Talk about a great upsell!

2.  Festive Fare
Are your holiday menu items “Instagram-Worthy”? Everyone is very inspired by fabulous looking food, so make sure your presentation, as well as the taste, in “on point”. How do you ensure the best flavors? Start with the very best ingredients! Make sure holiday menus have been updated from last year and prices checked to be competitive as well as reflecting any price increases you will incur over the holidays. Sometimes our vendors charge us more at the holiday time for certain items, so those prices must be adjusted so that your food cost stay on budget!

3.  Seasonally-Inspired Spirits
Nothing says "Holiday party" like seasonally inspired beverages! Some fun opportunities:
Mini-Tails- People LOVE to taste different things but sometimes do not always want a full cocktail. This is where a mini-tail is the perfect solution and can be created to accompany the different hors d’oeuvres being offered. You can offer festive miniature cocktails in decorative shot glasses or other mini beverage glasses as guests arrive.  These can also be passed during cocktail receptions and/or be an add-on to bar packages.  Depending on your market you can charge $5 to $6 per person (about half the price of your regular-sized cocktails).  Or they can become after dinner passed mini-tails that are made with after dinner liqueurs.  For example, you could offer the Mint Chocolate Bailey’s Irish Cream or festive Creme de Menthe chilled. Let your creative juices go to work and come up with some fun and festive drinks to serve.  How about some trendy names like: Roasted Chestnuts, Winter Wonderland, Candy Cane, Toy Soldier, Frosty, and the list goes on and on. So, what liquors could you use to create a fun mini-tail? This is something you could try at home...(Smile)
Specialty Coffee Stations- People are spending money on coffee and tea! A recent study says that the average American spends $1,100 per year on coffee! This makes it a great add-on for your holiday parties with or without liqueurs. People are already “hooked” on their coffee, so it is an easy upsell. Specialty holiday flavored coffees, lattes, cappuccino, even just freshly brewed coffee with upscale condiments, like cinnamon flavored whipped cream, shaved chocolate, nutmeg, different types of sugars and flavored creamers.  This is a proven up-sell for any event during the holidays and can also add another $6.00 + to your check average. Don’t have the equipment to do this yourself in the club? This is where a great partnership with an outside vendor can be perfect – you make revenue without any of the headache!

4.  Experiential Elements
A holiday party is all about the sparkly details! Make sure that all the “feels” are there – photo opportunities, interactive entertainment, music, visual eye-candy in decor and linens, and of course, great lighting is always a game-changer and key element.

And lastly, let’s fill those empty rooms…
Small Company Parties with a Big Company Feel – Sometimes those mid-week Tuesdays or Wednesdays can be difficult to book! Well, here is a perfect solution that has been used in many clubs very successfully. It takes the mid-week "difficult to sell" days and turns them into another Friday or Saturday for your club.  This concept allows the smaller 5-25 person companies like insurance agencies, doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, hair dressers, small retailers and other "mom and pop" businesses that want to do a holiday party for their employees, but they don’t have the big budget for dinner, entertainment, and decorations. This allows the smaller companies to provide a fun, festive holiday party just like the large company holiday parties.  Basically, you are selling tables for a holiday party with a big company feel and you are providing the food & beverage, music, entertainment and décor. Small companies are “buying tickets” to your event.

Here is a great example of a collateral piece from a club promoting their “Group Holiday Party”. You can capitalize on promoting the event for both lunch and dinner on the same day which maximizes the potential revenues while also improving your cost of sales. 

Happy start of the Holiday Season, everyone!

 Smart Budgeting for 2019
It’s that time of year when most clubs are busy putting the finishing touches on their 2019 budgets, and this is a critical time to “get the numbers right” so you do not suffer with the wrong budget all year long!

Here is a “critical items” checklist to double check and keep in mind when planning your private event and member event budgets:

Dates and Timing
* Where do holidays fall? Major Holidays on weekends mean less bookable dates
* How many Saturdays in each month? (sometimes there are 3, 4 or 5 Saturdays in a month and this changes from year to year for each month)

Member Event P & L (Profit and Loss) Statements
* Budget for entertainment and decor

Marketing Costs
* Advertising to Members and for outside, non-Member events, if applicable
* Décor and in-Club Displays to promote Member events

On-Going Education Costs
* Networking Events, Certifications, ACCP National Conference!

Technology Update Costs
* Catering Software, Room Diagram Software, iPads, etc.

Additional Inventory Costs
* Need a new dancefloor? Chairs? etc.?

Payroll Increases

* Looking for a boost in pay? Outside of normal "cost of living", raises based on performance and sales are easier for the budgets to tolerate...

For more information, join us for our in-depth webinar on Thursday, November 1, titled “Getting a Jump Start on 2019 Event Planning and Budgeting”. Registration on the ACCP website and webinars are always complimentary for ACCP Members
 ACCP Careers
Catering and Event Directors are on the move! Check out the ACCP website for openings at clubs across the US.

Need help finding the perfect Catering Director or Manager for your team? ACCP also offers search and placement services.
We search, interview, suggest the perfect candidates and train!
Email us for more information...

 Follow Us On Social Media!
Keep up with all the latest news and shenanigans! ACCP is all over social media, so please take a minute and Join our LinkedIn Group, "Like" our Facebook page, Follow us on Pinterest , Follow our Instagram and  Follow us on Twitter
Gary Player Educator of the Year Award
Lynne LaFond DeLuca

2014 Association of the Year
Webinar Series

Members, login to the website using your ACCP Member # and auto-register for any and all webinars.




Upcoming LIVE Webinars:

November 1, 2018

Getting a Jump on 2019 Event Planning and Budgeting
*Things to consider NOW for your 2019 budgets
*A well-rounded 2019 Member event calendar
*Experience-driven events and Member benefits with special guest Sheryl Sellers, Palmer Advantage
*Planning Your Private Event Prospecting Strategy

November 29, 2018
The 2019 Wedding Trend Predictions

Recorded Webinars:
(available anytime
for viewing)

The 2018 Wedding Trend Predictions!

Bright Ideas in Event Lighting

The 2017 Wedding Trend Predictions

Building an Effective Catering & Events Budget

How to Refresh and Renovate Your Club for Maximum Catering Impact
with Tom Hoch

The Why, What and Who of Social Media for Private Clubs
with Shanna Bright

2016 Wedding Trends from the Trendsetting Pros!

How to Keep Your Marketing Plan Fresh

Beyond Busy. . .

How Has Social Media Affected Your Sales? with Guest Speaker  Paul Hattimer

March Menu Madness with Guest Chef
Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles

Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

Wedding Wonderland! The 2015 Wedding Trends Are Here!

New Members, New Revenues

Sales Technique Tips & Follow-Up Facts

Menu Mania! Creating Exciting and Enticing Epicurean Delights

Increasing Your Wine Wisdom

Social Media Savvy...How Social Are You?

Staying on Trend. . . Announcing the 2014 Wedding Trends!

The Top 5 Target Markets That Need to be in Your Marketing Plan

Putting the Upcoming Holiday Season on the Fast Track!

Member First Marketing to Increase Member Hosted Events

Everything You Always Wanted to Ask Your Chef But Were Afraid to Ask

The Luxury Bride DeMystified
with Wendy Dahl,
Guest Speaker

Looking Ahead! Writing Your Perfect Annual Marketing Plan

Tips for Planning the Perfect Bridal Show

Preparing for the Holiday Season

Partnering Within the Club to Increase Prospecting Opportunities

Maximizing Your Corporate and Charitable Event Markets

Providing the Ultimate Member Service and Increasing Your Member-Hosted Events

"Thank you for the great webinar! I’ve taken many notes on your great ideas and am looking forward to the next one in January! Job well done.
--Lucy Gidley, Bermuda Run Country Club

Our past webinars were a smashing success and it is not too late to see them! Register online for the webinar and a recorded version will be emailed to you to view at your convenience.

Because of ACCP...
One our favorite things is hearing great and inspiring stories from Catering Directors across the country who have read an ACCP newsletter article, watched a webinar or attended our National Conference and they went back to their club and implemented or made a change and it worked! Sharing our success stories is such an important part of learning and we want to hear more! It helps everyone.

Please send us your story that begins "Because of ACCP..." and we will start to share all of the fabulous CHANGE that is happening in the private club industry because of YOU! We always knew that the Catering/Events/F&B teams at the clubs could change the industry and have a positive effect on member retention, perceptions and of course, member experience. And you are.

So tell us...
What has happened to you "because of ACCP"?

Click here to share your story! 
  Allied Associations

ACCP is an Allied Association with the CMAA! You will receive CMAA educational or activity credits for all educational activities with the ACCP!

View the Press Release

Creative Partner
Member Benefits

ACCP has member benefits & discounts with the most incredible Creative Partners in the business! For a full listing of vendors and discounts for ACCP members, go to the website at and click on "Benefits".

Not a Member Yet??
An ACCP Membership is a great way to make 2018 your best year ever!
Join now and become a Member in the first and only Association dedicated to Catering Professionals in the Private Club Industry!

More BUZZ...
"I took a ton of notes, and got a TON of great ideas! It was a great webinar! Thank you!"
Lisa Carruth

"The work you are doing is raising the bar for all within our industry, and for that, thank you!!"
Hope Kahan

Alliances & Partners