Friendly Conversation Starters – The F&B Upsell Engine

Friday July 9, 2021

Making members and guests feel valued and welcome is an absolute no brainer for any hospitality venue, but for golf course F&B establishments which often operate with smaller margins and lower foot traffic than traditional restaurants, the line between success and failure is razor thin. And with labor shortages and employee turnover at levels not seen in decades, the importance of increasing margins through upselling and keeping good employees has never been higher.

According to 59club USA’s industry leading proprietary data sets, the F&B customer service tactic most in need of improvement is also the least costly and happens to be a catalyst for increased margins. It also helps raise tips for servers and happens to be one of the key components of exceptional customer service – friendly conversation starters, A.K.A the upsell engine.

Customers are far more likely to purchase premium items when they have a personal connection to their server. Something as simple as a friendly introduction from the server or a well-placed engaging question can be the difference between your customers ordering the cheapest thing on the menu or opting for the larger size – and higher margin – appetizer, special of the day, beer, cocktail or dessert. Developing rapport through the friendly conversation starter tactic is something every server in your organization should strive for at the beginning of each individual interaction. And it works.  

This same tactic is also one of the driving forces of higher tips. Since most diners in the US tip a percentage of the bill, raising the final total through upselling – made easier through friendly communication – will increase gratuities and employee satisfaction and assist in lowering employee turnover.

The stats:

Clubs are simply not taking advantage of this tactic. Even at the podium levels – the best of the best – of 59club clients, only 66 percent (66%) of tests showed a server’s willingness to engage in friendly conversation starters. The industry average drops to an abysmal 40%, showing an industry wide opportunity for growth and higher F&B margins. Let’s do some math!

Club X has an average of 140 players per day of which 40 (29%) order a small beer at the end of their round. The small beer is priced at $7 with a 78% margin. The large beer is priced at $9 with the same 78% margin. If servers at Club X used friendly conversation starters to prime the pump for the upsell to the larger beer and managed to convert half of the 40 drinkers to the premium beverage, the result is a $11,534 increase in profit over the course of one year – on only one menu item – just by implementing a no-additional-cost tactic in your customer service toolkit. Win win.

Does your service staff need a tutorial on friendly conversation? Take advantage of 59club USA’s online training platform that is designed specifically for the club business.

59club USA Adds 20 Clubs to Rapidly Expanding Client Base Through Agreement With Landscapes Golf Management

Tuesday July 6, 2021

North American customer service satisfaction and benchmarking firm59club USA announced today they added Landscapes Golf Management (LGM) – a sister company to Landscapes Unlimited – to their client roster. 59club USA will use their industry-leading proprietary software and objective data analysis tools to provide mystery shopping services to help audit and improve the golf experience, membership sales, event sales and group-outing sales for 20 LGM golf properties in 13 states.

“We’re obviously thrilled to begin working with Landscapes Golf Management and their extensive list of extraordinary golf properties,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner of 59club USA. “We look forward to showcasing our world-class customer service platform and providing knowledgeable insights which will help shape future plans and achieve customer service excellence throughout their portfolio.”

With the addition of 20 LGM properties, 59club USA expands its client roster to more than 80 golf properties in 28 states across the country.

“Landscapes Golf Management invests extraordinary time, effort and resources into all levels of our organization, especially customer service and training, but we understand there is always room for improvement,” said Tom Everett, president of LGM.  “By utilizing 59club USA’s services, we will receive access to real-time, unbiased data which will help us achieve our goal of consistent customer service improvement, and continued success and growth in all customer-facing areas. We’re extremely excited to begin.”

59club is a service-based management tool and customer service provider which uses objective data points and images to measure, improve and then maintain standards of customer service, in turn increasing visitor and member retention. Results of on-site testing from 59club are a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits for clubs who use their services such as customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping services and employee training – both virtual and on-site.

Already, 59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 80 well-known golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC Network properties, Reynolds Lake Oconee, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina, Bobby Jones Links, and now Landscapes Golf Management – two of the world’s largest golf management companies.

59Club USA Adds Bret Garrison as Regional Director of Sales to the Team

Monday June 21, 2021

59club USA announced today Bret Garrison is joining the team as Director of Sales. Garrison will work remotely for 59clubUSA and manage new client sales operations, client retention strategies and strategic marketing initiatives.

“Bret joins us with more than 15 years’ experience in operational and sales management roles and his experience will be instrumental in 59club USA’s sales strategies moving forward, ” said Mike Kelly, Managing Partner for 59club USA. “As our business grows, we will continue to put a premium on hiring dedicated and talented individuals to lead our company into the future.”

Garrison gained experience at several high-end properties including Boar’s Head Resort & Club, The Club at New Seabury, Lexington Golf & Country Club and Up to Par Management.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to join the 59clubUSA team,” said Garrison. “The opportunity to join a growing company that is committed to raising the bar in the golf and hospitality industry really appealed to me.”

59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 50 well-known private golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Scottsdale, Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Fenway Golf Club in New York , The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Haig Point in South Carolina, Ruark Golf Properties in Ocean City, Maryland, and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies.


59Club USA Adds Steve Munch as Regional Director of Sales

Friday May 21, 2021

59club USA announced today Steve Munch is joining the team as Director of Sales . Munch will immediately assume the new position at 59clubUSA and manage new client sales operations, client retention strategies and strategic marketing initiatives.

“We are extremely excited to have someone with Steve’s experience join our fast-growing team,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner, 59club USA. “He is perfectly situated to assist us in our immediate growth and we look forward to a bright future with Steve’s involvement.”

Munch has been a PGA member for more than 30 years with 16 years of experience within the TPC Network serving as general manager for two clubs in the network. Recently, Munch completed eight years as general manager of Victoria National where he helped lead a market repositioning campaign and a successful sale to the Dormie Network.

“I’m thrilled to join the 59club USA team,” said Munch. “I firmly believe 59club’s products and services are a perfect match for any club who wishes to take their guest services to a new level. Had 59club been available to me as a general manager, I would have jumped at the idea.”  

59club USA has established and developed relationships with more than 50 well-known private golf clubs and resorts in North America including 14 TPC properties, Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, , Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Fenway Golf Club in New York, The Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, Vanderbilt Country Club in Naples, Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale,  and Bobby Jones Links – one of the world’s largest golf management companies.