We worked hard through November to try to put together our menus and food and beverage packages.
We’ve got a three-fold food and beverage operation here with barbecue/catering packages, our wedding packages and our regular lounge, which includes halfway house, concessions, etc.
Watching the news the past few weeks, the predictions are that food costs are skyrocketing, so you’ve got to design tournament menus, catering menus and especially your wedding menus to ensure that you can keep things in check.
Around here recently, a lot of local hotels have been sending out flyers with four-course meals for unbelievable prices, so competition is high for that type of business. Even in this economy, people are going to get married and have other events.
We recently took a look at some of the ways we can redesign our menu a bit to be creative and look like we’re on par with anybody else competing for the same market.
You’ve also got to really watch your labour because those costs on weddings and other functions are definitely higher.
We have to realize who we are and not try to be anything we’re not. We’ll sell a promotional burger and beer with a round of golf or do a promotion to get a company barbecue out here and offer 15 per cent off.
Now is also the time to lock in prices as best you can, projecting what your buy is going to be on beef, chicken, etc.
Fruits and vegetables are more of a floating price, so it’s not like you can lock in anything. There are concerns with drought in the U.S. and the plunging loonie.
This is when you find out about your suppliers, who’s committed to working with you.
They may be suppliers, but I look at them as partners and we’ve got some good companies on the food side with which our executive chef Bill Martin has established an excellent relationship, which is especially important in the economy we have now.
They can’t always control the price, but they can sure give you a heads-up when an increase is coming and give you time to react.
It’s going to be an interesting year and the tough part is that once it’s on your menu and out there, you’re committed. We’ve never worked harder on it than we have this year for that very reason.