The hospitality industry is one of the businesses that incorporates a broad scope of services that may bring substantial income in the case of proper management. However, every segment of this industry has individual challenges and opportunities. That is why, it is important to be able to characterize the whole business and differentiate its peculiarities. Such expertise means combining knowledge and practice in the sphere of management to assure relevant administration of processes related to the area. The private club sector is a unique sphere; it considers a specific type of stakeholders and requires relevant approaches. Therefore, a consideration of the topics of leadership, food and beverage, and technology is viewed as critical regarding the ability of this business to function properly. Consequently, this paper discusses these three domains of administration of a private golf club as a source of assurance of business profitability and growth. This information would be of critical importance for a wide scope of practitioners of a private club sector.
Leadership and General Administration
Leaders and top managers are important for any business since they produce ideas, which motivate others, and set up goals that assure continuous improvement and competitiveness of a business. At the same time, it is essential to mention that leadership requires a person capable of applying particular and unique practices. Such skills allow avoiding malpractice and misunderstanding between different departments and services, enhance collaboration and collective spirit. The aspects that are important for the consideration of a leader of a private club, incorporated responsibility, administration, and communication. Thus, club leadership implies work with the members of the board of directors, reporting to the president or executive committee, carrying out the board’s policies. Moreover, this activity includes accountability for all areas of the club and bridging decisions, proposals and regulations between staff and committee. Therefore, the role of a leader is important because one has a specific vision of the tasks, makes a commitment to the mission and the followers and takes responsibility. Likewise, this role obliges consideration the risks and acceptance of recognition for success (Mills). These functions allow the board to work on the long-term focus of the club’s governance instead of being busy with every task, viewed minor from a strategic perspective. That is why the members and the board of directors should realize the degree of responsibility when choosing a person as a leader of a private club.
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The other side of the question is that in the case stakeholders have a leader with doubtful competence the whole organization may be in danger. The importance of leadership is reasoned by the scholars as “they remain focused on the important aspects of an issue in the midst of chaos, and they repeatedly articulate a consistent, simple public vision” (McFadden). Thus, if any employee has a problem, he or she might need advice or instruction from a leader. In the case a leader has no competence and vision, he or she may give either irrelevant idea or demoralize staff. Such a leader becomes a person who eliminates motivation instead of setting it and fails to communicate information and requirements from the board to the staff as well as initiatives from employees to the Board. In this case, the whole organization becomes separated because its administration loses awareness of the current issues and needs of staff and clients. This means that a leader does not realize one’s accountability for the functionality and existence of a private club. Similarly, a leader’s competence and skill are the face of a private club. The organizations of this kind may be extremely special and serve the needs of elite and influential stakeholders. Thus, the actions of a leader of this organization represent its face. Clients of private clubs may not forgive even the slightest mistakes and flaws in the organizational process, and it may lead to termination of their cooperation. That is why, the managing personnel requires undergoing advanced certification to meet the professional requirements of the selected business model (Koenigsfeld, Kim, Cha, Perdue, and Cichy). Consequently, leaders, who lack vision and skills in administration lead to the fact that their duties are shared by the Board, which distracts it from solving more fundamental questions.
To avoid negative consequences, the Board of Directors should introduce various solutions allowing identifying a competent person for the position of a leader of a private club. One of the most critical solutions in this sphere is the introduction of high standards of certification for a vacant place of a leader of a private club. Recent surveys identified a model of certification for the managers of such organization. It includes certification of such areas as “golf, facility maintenance, human resources, leadership, food and beverage, club governance, sports and recreation, accounting, marketing and strategic management” (Koenigsfeld et al.). It is evident that the position of a leader should share the predominant part of them, because a leader should be competent in all spheres related to one’s business. However, peculiar attention should be paid towards the issues of environmental uncertainty outlook and strategic planning. As it is indicated by the recent surveys, these aspects critically impact effective planning when administering private clubs (Huang and O’Brien). Similarly, it is advised to pay special attention to the positions of General Manager and Chief Operating Officers. This requirement is significant because these leaders are in the closest connection with actual business processes and various stakeholders (Parsa and Narapareddy). Thus, a successful appointment of these leaders may reduce the risks in the case of malpractice of other leaders as a result of their assistance, guidance, and control. Similarly, employees at these positions may guide, teach and control volunteer leaders, which are responsible for minor tasks. Therefore, the most beneficial aspect regarding potential management of the issue is the creation of a profound hierarchical structure. Such structure would allow leaders of different levels to interact and assist each other.
Food and Beverage
One more crucial aspect to consider when running a hospitality business is food and beverage because it may directly affect the health of clients, employers and employees. The topic of nutrition at private clubs is sensitive because it may endanger the health of the club members that may lead to the loss of reputation. That is why this aspect should be thoroughly considered when examining important management issues. For instance, even such characteristic as “openability” of beverage packaging may be critical for elder clients (Bell, Walton, and Tapsell) and leading to negative repercussions. Additionally, the issue of food and beverages greatly depends on various cultural and demographic factors, which may cause the failure of this sector (Parsa, Van Der Rest, Smith, Parsa, and Bujisic). For instance, in UAE, it is prohibited to sell alcohol as well as the demands in pork based foods are lower because Muslims do not consume it (“Foreign Travel Advice United Arab Emirates”). Similarly, some members of private clubs require healthy foods or advanced menus with vegetarian food. These claims may be enriched with the demands in organic food as well as maintaining a reasonable balance between the origin of the products and their costs. Therefore, the topic of beverage and foods is of critical importance for managers of private clubs as its administration requires meeting the demands of the customers.
Furthermore, one should consider risks of administration of food and beverage sector.
One of them is the need for the maintenance of packaging and cooking standards. This aspect is important because the products can be damaged or spoiled during transportation, storage or cooking. As a result, spoiled food can either harm the reputation of the facility or lead to issues, which negatively affect clients’ health. The risk of this issue is comparatively high because this sector requires continuous operations with foods and beverages every working day of the club. Additionally, the advanced requirements in terms of healthy, vegetarian and organic foods may be critical for a wide scope of clients since they represent a specific category of people. Meeting such demands establishes a high level of authority of the club and attracts more members, which directly influences on its long-term sustainability and profitability. That is why these issues require adequate administration and management for avoiding problems or malpractice.
The basic methods of regulation of food and beverage sector may include a various scope of initiatives. First, it is necessary to assure that the suppliers of foods are the members of major retail associations such as the British Retail Consortium. This requirement assures that the suppliers meet major national and international regulations in terms of food safety (Havinga). This step is critical because it assures that all foods and beverage, which goes into operation of a private club, is safe and healthy. Furthermore, there is a need for the introduction of obligatory certification of cooks and food-related personnel. The reason for this is that there are specific kinds of foods, which may bear significant danger though considered prestigious. The vivid example of it is pufferfish, which is considered to be one of the delicious but dangerous foods. It requires profound competence and advanced expertise regarding cooking that means that the cook should have poison revealing skills. In the opposite cases, this meal may lead to paralysis and death (Rainey). Furthermore, the clubs should raise the skills of their employees of food and beverage departments, since it would lead to fast and qualified service. Similarly, the monetary policy of the club should provide benefits for long-term members, which would allow obtaining foods and beverage at reduced costs. This policy would stimulate the interest of client towards obtaining long-term member status as well.
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The third aspect that is critical for any contemporary business is technology. It is evident that businesses of different kinds practice their popularization and growth by means of the Internet as well as other technologies. In this since technology may be the cause of the success or failure of a private club business depending on the applied strategies towards this issue. Technology may be introduced to hospitality business regarding different domains such as security, protection as well as advertising and data-mining for marketing growth. The aspect of security is of special importance for private clubs because of their clients. Such clients as presidents of international organizations or directors of corporations would become members of any private club only in the case it guarantees their security 24/7. This means private protection as well as data and theft protection together with the security of the sites identified as the property of a club. Similarly, data-mining and advertising are the opposite side of the issue, which raise the awareness of the stakeholders in the existence of the peculiar private club. Additionally, data-mining service allows identifying the needs of the customers and the trends of the market. The result of such investigations would lead towards the selection of strategies and that would consequently suit the favors and the needs of the future and current club members.
Moreover, there is a need for a profound consideration of the risks associated with the technology sector when administering a private club. Such threats as terrorism, cyber espionage, and bank thefts may bear peculiar danger for the facility as well as clients. This aspect combines several requirements. Among them, the first one is the existence of relevant protecting software and hardware, whereas the other one is the level of the expertise of the security staff. That is why any facility relating to hospitality sector should assure database security and integrity preserving its systems from leakage, modification or destruction (Yu, Sun, and Han). Thus, the potential solutions proposed for assuring cyber and physical safety include upgrades of technical facilities as well as the skills of personnel. One of the best solutions in this sense is delivering the security sector to professionals such as military or security companies. The reason for this is the only outsourcing of the security sector would guarantee cost-efficient and valid practices in the sphere of data and individual protection (Tzifakis). Thus, the claims of security should be mitigated only by high skilled professionals of this sphere because private clubs have a peculiar accent on the exclusive level of service of their clients. That is why a private club should have a scope of technical assistants, which assure bridging of the update technologies from a peculiar security company. As a result, clients would be satisfied with the level of security as well as the Directional Board would reduce expenditures required for assuring this task. Similarly, data-mining and advertising should be outsourced either since the experts of these spheres would guarantee advanced efficacy as well as allow reducing costs. Therefore, the sphere of technology should be outsourced to competent and respectable agencies to assure the implementation of qualified and cost efficient solutions.
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Summarizing the presented information, the paper concludes that private club management requires profound competence in terms of leadership, food and beverage administration, and technology. These requirements are based on the special role of the characterized domains for the sphere of the hospitality industry and private club managements as well. The reason for the implementation of advanced leadership and manager certification is caused by the role of a leader within this structure. It is important to appoint a person with advanced leadership skills and backing up one’s activity using advanced structure. It is advised that such structure would allow leaders of different departments collaborate and support each other reducing cases of malpractice. Moreover, specific attention should be paid towards food and beverage sector because the members of the club may have additional requirements such as healthy, organic and vegetarian foods. Similarly, this sphere requires maintenance of high safety standards for protecting clients from diseases and adverse conditions caused by foods. Lastly, private clubs should consider technology as one of the most important factors, which assures protection of clients and data. Thus, they should outsource these domains and delegate the tasks of data-mining and security to competent and expertise partners. The reason for this is that competent technical specialists may guarantee the protection from cyber and physical threats. Moreover, technology may assist in providing data-mining and analysis, which is of critical influence for the provision of future sustainability and growth. Therefore, managers, leaders and the Board of Directors of any private club should analyze the discussed aspects to avoid problems and assure a considerable growth of their business.