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Idea Fair

The Finishing Touches on a Restaurant Redesign

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

“Timeless forms, rooted in the heritage of traditional European design, yet interpreted with updated materials and functionality that suit today’s information lifestyles. Polished but never prim. Can be dressed up or dressed down. Sometimes crisp, sometimes comfortable. Each form is distinctive yet familiar, as though it has always belonged in the room. The result is a sense of longevity – from one decade to the next.”

This design statement set the stage for a dining experience in Interlachen Country Club’s new “Bobby Jones Pub & Grille.” Our goal at the onset of the project was to create a dining experience that would rival the best restaurants in the Twin Cities.

The changes in layout, both in the restaurant and heart of house, have helped team members across the F&B department elevate service standards and quality on a daily basis. A centralized host stand allows for visibility of the entire floor as well a convenient coat closet directly behind. We added a captain’s table in the middle of the dining room and expanded wait stations to maximize team members’ ability to work quickly and efficiently.

Our team recognized more than the physical space would define the dining experience.

The ability to reexamine how we defined a memorable dining experience and the processes associated with it, left a lot of room for creativity and new ideas. One of the outcomes we hoped for was an overall increased sense of pride in the club, both from members and employees. A lot of thought and investment has gone into preserving and showcasing our archives for generations to come.

The feature Grand Slam trophy display, Bobby Jones mural, coasters featuring Bobby Jones, Patty Berg, and the 1930 U.S. Open, as well as Bobby Jones’ quotes on the menu presented new opportunities for members to display their pride in our past.

The new wine book is a rich, genuine leather with an embossed Interlachen logo and features a full listing of wines by the glass, cocktails, beer, wine by the bottle, and spirits. Employee uniforms shifted to a more casual and trendy selection. This combined with the new restaurant experience has attracted new talent to our team.

Naturally, with a newly renovated space, team members rose to level of their environment. Team members have a re-energized sense of pride for working at and serving the members at Interlachen.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

Our design partner, Shea Inc., was a close partner throughout the entire project. They led the process to develop the design statement and set the overall direction. As the physical space began to take shape in September 2018, our internal team began to identify the finishing touches that would set the experience apart. The “finishing touches” referred to in this project (archive displays, uniforms, tableware, menu design/creation, wine book, coasters, pre-batch cocktail labels) were completed in the two months preceding opening.

Member activity and feedback regarding the new Bobby Jones Pub & Grille dining experience has been overwhelmingly positive. We have experienced a 40% increase in covers and sales through the first two months compared to the same period last year.

We recently sent a Net Promoter Score survey to every member who dined in December. We received a 30% response rate and our score more than doubled from 16 to 41 since our last survey in July. Nearly 60% of respondents rated their experience a 9 or 10 compared to just 40% before.

About the author

Carrie Eyler

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