Country clubs are more than just nice places to do sports like tennis and golf. They are great for spending quality time with the people you love, as well as business partners. The experience is more exquisite than the one you would get in a hotel or a sports club.
Country club culture can differ in different locations. But despite that, country clubs are still a place for people who are into sports, social events, and luxury.
The main focus is usually golf, but there is a lot more to be done. From fine, country club dining to a country club wedding and many other special events - being a member of a club has a lot of benefits.
If you happen to be a manager or owner at a country club and not a member, you have a lot more things to think about. One of them is organizing and planning the beverage inventory, which can have a huge impact on the experience of your guests.
Best Practices for Beverage Inventory Management in Country Clubs
Drinks with specialty coffee, unique types of tea, beer, liquors, and of course, wine lists, have to be carefully selected. Planning different food and beverage pairings is also key if you want to ensure customer satisfaction. Here’s what to do!
1. Categorize items - Inventory organization is crucial for any establishment in the hospitality industry. Categorize your inventory items into priority groups. Put items into three categories - A, B, and C. Items from category A should be the higher-ticket items which are just a few. In the C category, put lower-cost items with a quick turnover ratio. Category B is for everything in between - moderately priced items, used slower than items in category C but faster than category A.
2. Track product information - The information to track needs to include SKUs, barcode data, suppliers, countries of origin, and lot numbers. Track the cost of different items over time, too, to be aware of factors that may affect it over time.
3. Do regular audits - Some manager audit once a year, while others prefer monthly, weekly, and/or daily. No matter what you prefer, make sure audits are done regularly.
4. Analyze your suppliers - In case the suppliers you currently work with are often late or there are other issues, reconsider the relationship. Not knowing when you are going to get the stock you need can be harmful to your business.
5. Use the 80/20 rule - 80% of the profits of your business are generated by 20% of the stock you have. Prioritize proper liquor inventory management of this 20% in order to boost profitability.
6. Track your sales - Track what and how much of it you sell to understand better seasonality and customer behavior. This is extremely important when planning future inventory, as well.
7. Make restock orders yourself - Vendors don’t have the same priorities as you do, so avoid letting them put orders for your country club. Take advantage of digital ordering instead, to make it easier for you.
8. Utilize inventory management technology - Country club management is complicated but you can ease it by utilizing technology. For example, you can use POS systems that can communicate with your inventory tracking software and help you keep numbers in check.
To offer quality drinks, you need to store all beverages the right way. Here’s how!
Wine Cellar and Wine Fridge
Wine cellars are the recommended option for country clubs. They are superior to fridges because they keep a constant and ideal humidity level, as well as temperature. Even if the bulk of the bottles is in the cellar, you can cool some bottles inside your restaurant or bar in a wine fridge.
Here’s what temperature you need to use for cooling different wines:
- Red wines - 50-55 °F
- White wines - 45 °F
Store bottles on their side so the cork can stay moist, which will keep the wine from oxidizing. Sparkling wines, as well as champagne, have to be stored upright.
Refrigerated Storage for Beer
From the bar and restaurant, as well as some places near the golf courses, you need beer to be everywhere around the country club.
Keep bottles at a steady 50-55 °F temperature to prevent flavor loss. These degrees are known as “cellar temperature”, but don’t worry, as they can be achieved without a cellar.
Make sure you always put the bottles of beer upright so the yeast will settle at the bottom and won’t stick to the sides. When stored upright, the beer won’t oxidize, which will make it last longer. (see also: “Does beer expire”)
Refrigerated Storage for Non-Alcoholic Beverages
People may want water, a soda, or juice at any time and any place. These drinks don’t require being in a cellar or a specific type of cold storage. You can serve them straight out of a fridge.
Here’s how to store them:
- Temperature - 40-45 °F.
- Keep away from sunlight.
- Don’t leave drinks out of the refrigerator overnight.
Offer amenities to your guests by adding a minibar to the rooms. Hotel minibars typically include different beverages - both alcoholic and soft drinks, plus some snacks.
From figuring out country club food to cocktails and everything in between, you have a lot to do! Country club inventory management can be daunting but when you get good advice, you will stay on top of things and provide great customer service.
One thing to not overlook is temperature-controlled storage for your country club drinks.
What Is Temperature-Controlled Storage?
Temperature-controlled storage is designed to maintain a steady temperature and humidity. It’s a great way to keep fresh produce and country club drinks in good condition for longer periods of time.
Benefits Temperature-Controlled Storage in Country Clubs
Different types of storage will work best for different items. A cooler, for example, would be a great solution if you want to sell drinks to people playing golf. But here’s why having the right storage solutions matters a lot.
1. Preservation of quality - It’s important to know how each type of alcohol or non-alcoholic beverage has to be stored in order to keep it fresh and flavorful. This way you also won’t have to deal with expired drinks that much.
2. Compliance with regulations - Country clubs have to comply with certain regulations to be able to serve food and drinks. Some of these regulations include storing items in specific ways, at set temperatures. So before you order large quantities, prepare the storage.
3. Cost savings - Providing the right environment for all bottles of alcoholic beverages in your inventory is very important. Items won’t go to waste, making you spend money for nothing. You can also read about alcohol expiration to make sure everything is used up before it goes bad.
4. Improved customer experience - Serving quality, fresh drinks is a sure way to boost customer satisfaction.
5. More food and beverage pairings - Using good storage in your facilities will allow you to offer quality food and drink pairing options to your guests. For example wine and cheese pairing options, as well as craft beer and food pairings.
A crucial part of the beverage program of country clubs is the wine lists. No matter what type of food you serve, there are different varieties of wine that will go perfectly with your dishes. Here’s how to store wine and make guests happy!
Best Ways for Storing Wine
If you are not storing wine correctly, guests who want to enjoy a glass with their dinner will be disappointed. Fortunately, it’s not hard at all to store wine the way!
1. Store corked wine bottles laying on their side - there’s a good reason why wine racks are built the way they are. Corked bottles have to be stored laying on one side so the cork does dry out. If that happens, air will get past the cork into the bottle and spoil the wine.
2. Temperature is key - Temperature is crucial when storing wine. Both reds and whites need to be stored at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When stored at this temperature, the wine will keep its good qualities and taste.
3. Store wine away from sunlight - Wine cellars are the ideal place for wine because of light too. If the bottles are stored in a place with more lights or direct sunlight, the aroma and taste of the wine can be affected in a bad way.
4. Use quality wine preservers - Sealed wine bottles can stay in perfect condition for a long time. Opened wine, however, can sour up in two days. Reseal the wine you have opened by using a quality wine preserver to prevent that from happening.
Damage control and loss prevention get harder and harder the more inventory you have to handle. And since country club drinks are what we are talking about, let’s see how to best handle them.
Store Country Club Drinks the Right Way
To keep all the beverages in top condition, you must know how to store them right.
- Wine needs to be stored in a wine cellar or wine fridge, bottle laying on the side if closed with a cork. The temperature needs to be between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whiskey needs to be stored at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottles have to be upright, away from sunlight.
- Beer needs to be stored in a cool, dry space with no direct sunlight. The best storage temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vodka, gin, rum, and tequila need to be stored at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the bottle is down to ⅓ full, use it up as soon as possible, to limit oxidation and preserve flavor.
How To Minimize Stock Losses in Your Country Club
Inventory shrinkage leads to a loss of profit, which is a serious issue. If you notice discrepancies between the actual inventory and the inventory on record, take action. The most common reasons for this issue are:
- Misplaced stock
- Customer or employee theft
- Shipping errors
- Inefficient recordkeeping
- Order fill errors
To prevent these issues, you should follow the steps below:
- Train your employees - Train people in your staff to act when they notice something. Theft is a common cause of stock loss, so you need to keep an eye on that.
- Invest in inventory management software - An amazing way to keep everything in check is to utilize beverage inventory software. If you use software, such as BinWise Pro, you will can track everything going in and out with ease. You can take advantage of digital ordering, take inventory faster, and do all the invoicing.
Trends come and go even in country club drinks. Some of them come back after a while in a very similar fashion or a new trend is inspired by an old one. But what people would like to drink in a country club in 2023?
- Negroni Sbagliato
- Two-spirit cocktails
- Salty and boozy cocktails
- Agave-based spirits
- Non-alcoholic drinks
Speaking of country club drinks to offer in 2023, let’s see what people would like to enjoy during the hot summer months, possibly around the pool.
Although there are many refreshing country club drinks to choose from, here are ten popular options that will impact the customer experience in a positive way.
2. Tom Collins
4. Aperol Spritz
5. Strawberry-Rum Coolers
6. Piña Coladas
7. Mai Tai
8. Long Island Iced Tea
9. Banana-Rum Old-Fashioned
10. Cucumber-Rose Gin Spritz
Non-alcoholic drinks, or alcohol-free drinks, are versions of cocktails but without the use of alcohol. It’s common for these drinks to be a recreation of great cocktails but instead of liquor, they are made with juices and fizzy drinks. These drinks, by definition, also include alcohol-free beer and beverages like kefir. Many people use the term as synonymous with mocktails, too.
Why Are Non-Alcoholic Beverages Trendy?
An increasing number of young people follow wellness trends and choose to drink less alcohol, if any. Some sources say that the COVID-19 pandemic had a big role in this shift.
Research has shown that non-alcoholic drinks currently hold a 3.5% share of the alcohol market and they predict that by 2024, there will be a 30% increase.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks at Country Clubs
Most people visiting a country club go there for sports, but some enjoy relaxation and socializing more. Now imagine what a great opportunity to maximize profits you have, just by stocking coolers with alcohol-free beverages.
You should offer a variety of them. Here’s what to include in your beverage program:
- Mocktails - The alcohol-free drinks that must be on your restaurant menu are mocktails. Make alcohol-free versions of popular cocktails that people order often and you are good to go! Try adding unique mocktails too, for even better results.
- Non-alcoholic spirits - Non-alcoholic spirits are becoming popular lately, but they don’t mimic rum, vodka, whiskey, or other popular type of alcohol. They are alternatives for consumers.
- Other alcohol-free drinks - CBD beverages, unique teas, specialty coffee, and soft drinks are important for every country club beverage program, too.
Every detail is important when you want to make the experience in your country club relaxing and memorable. One of the many details to think about is whether to have your own private label wine and spirits!
Country clubs need to build a strong and unique beverage program to appeal to all of their customers. From rich wine lists to poolside cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks - stocking up and managing a wide variety will be worth it.
We’ve already talked about the latest adult beverage trends, as well as damage control, temperature-control storage, the proper ways of storing wine, and beverage storage in general. In this blog article, we want to let you in on the benefits you can get from having your own private label. Let’s jump into it!
What Does Private Label Mean?
Private label wine and spirits are produced by a separate company but sold by a retailer, hotel, or country club as their own brand. They are exclusive to the place where they are being sold and customers can’t get these same beverages at another place.
Getting private label spirits or wine is great because you can offer something unique to your customers, without having to produce it yourself. Opening a winery is not easy, especially when you already have your hands full with country club management.
Private Label vs. Branded Wine and Spirits
The private label wine and spirits are sold without branding to the customer. This allows the customer, which could be a bar, restaurant, hotel, or country club, to place their own label and brand.
While the private label products are produced exclusively for one business, white label products are sold to various businesses. White label products can be branded differently by each business and they can add their own markup, although the products have been produced by the same company.
You can learn more by reading this article on white label vs private label products.
4 Benefits of Private Label Wine in Country Clubs
Offering a private label wine can bring a lot of benefits to your country club, which you should not overlook. Let’s see what they are!
- Better profitability - Boost profits from wine sales by offering a private label option. When you are getting wine that’s not branded by the winery that produced it, you will be paying less money. But since people can’t find this wine anywhere else, they will be enticed to try it. This can quickly turn into more profit for your business!
- Branding builds loyalty - Not many things can build loyalty better than a private label wine. If country club members enjoy this specific wine, they will want to visit more often to be able to enjoy it. Also, when you have wine with your own branding, it will fit better the overall look and feel of your space. This can be ideal for your country club marketing.
- Wine is getting more and more popular - Research has shown that people drink more wine than before and some are even moving away from beer.
- Minimal investment - Leave winery design plans to others and just get the good wine!
By getting private label wine, you will invest lower amounts of money but get the quality you desire.
Do you know what goes hand in hand really well? That’s right, it’s special events and signature cocktails! And what’s an even better match is special events in beautiful country clubs.
Whether you are dreaming of a country club wedding, want to have a creative brand launch, or even a corporate event like team building, drinks are important. Custom drinks can elevate the experience for everyone in attendance and make the event truly memorable.
Even if the country club drinks already present on your menu are following the latest adult beverage trends, something unique can be created for the event. A mixologist can be of great help in this situation.
But before we go more in-depth on how exactly a mixology specialist can help, let’s talk about what are signature cocktails and why you need them. Let’s jump right in!
Signature Cocktails: What Are They?
Signature drinks or cocktails are special beverages created to fit the concept of an event or an establishment. They can also be a reflection of the personality of the one who created them.
What’s great about creating a signature cocktail is that you can use seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. This will infuse even more personality into the great cocktails you are creating.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good signature cocktail as it can take your event to the next level. It adds a personal touch and can create a better experience for your guests. If you are not sure how to create one or a few signature drinks, you can always turn to a cocktail expert.
Creating a Signature Cocktail for Country Clubs
Special cocktails add a sense of excitement. People won’t be able to get the same drink anywhere else and this will make it more enticing.
Needless to say, this is a sure way to increase profits. So if you haven’t made a special drink for your country club, here’s what you need to know!
- Think of the concept - Figure out what feeling you want to create and what’s the concept of your country club. This is the first step when you want to add more country club drinks to your menu.
- Choose the base spirit - Once you figure out the concept and the feeling you want to create with the signature drinks, it’s time to choose the base spirit. Vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, bourbon, and tequila are some of the most popular base types of alcohol you can use. Each of them can be used in numerous combinations with other ingredients to create something special and truly delicious.
- Pick the other ingredients - In the past few years, cocktail drinks with two or three ingredients became quite popular. Although this may sound limiting, there are so many options to choose from that creating something unique is not hard.
- Try a few different options - Test out different options by offering all of them or some at certain times. Gather customer feedback and track behaviors to figure out whether these country club drinks are worth being added to the menu.
By following these steps, you will be able to create a successful beverage program for your country club. Don’t underestimate the power of good country club drinks and make sure you use the right tools to make your life easier and increase the quality of your service. Find out more about BinWise Pro by booking a demo!