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During Renovations, Don't Neglect Back-of-the-House

Posted On: October 16, 2017 by ClubProcure in: Clubhouse Food and Beverage

During Renovations, Don't Neglect Back-of-the-House

Recently, VGM Club had a chance to visit with Bill Griffon, General Manager at Forest Highlands in Flagstaff, AZ. The podcast focused on the renovations that took place at Forest Highland’s Canyon and Meadows clubhouses. Forest Highlands is nestled 7,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by the world’s largest stand of Ponderosa Pines. Naturally, they wanted to take advantage of this scenery.

“Our members were coming out of the valley and heading up here to escape the 110 degree weather in the valley and enjoy the coolness of being up at 7,000 feet. The last place they wanted to be was stuck inside. The theme of all our renovations, was to take as much inside space as we could, and make it into outside space.” – Bill Griffon.

The renovations were a huge success, says Bill. “We are seeing increased rounds, we are seeing increased participation in the restaurant, we are seeing record revenues, and most importantly what we are seeing is truly a genuine appreciation and a genuine excitement still to this day from the membership.”

Listen to the entire podcast here:

Forest Highlands front-of-house renovations were key to many of these successes, no question. But when we asked Bill about some lasting takeaways, his answer took us in a different direction.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced was with some of our back-of-the-house designs. The front of the house design is always something that takes priority, but we worked with a very accomplished kitchen designer and a workspace flow professional to help design the back-of-the-house.”

We looked to Kraemer Design Group to learn more information about designing a quality work environment. From their blog post titled, “Back of the House and Top of Mind: 5 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

“You cannot be shortsighted,” says Bob Kraemer, founder of Kraemer Design Group, “If you lay out your kitchen wrong and it doesn’t flow well, you’ll run higher costs for labor. And a kitchen that’s functional and clean and doesn’t fall apart will maintain morale. If it looks rundown, your staff will treat it that way.”

What is one design element Bob Kraemer recommends your club pay special attention to? Ventilation.

“Let’s face it; you just can’t pay too much attention to the air balance. Sure, it’s not one of the sexier areas of design, but ignore it at your own peril. The hood is sucking out hot, greasy air and it’s also taking out good air-conditioned air that you paid for. Work with a pro to get the balance right or you could be facing high-energy bills in the near future.”

While front-of-the-house brings in new revenue for places like Forest Highlands, a poorly designed back-of-the-house can lead to higher labor costs, slower service, and higher utility bills. It is important to enlist the help of a professional. 

“It is important to use the resources we have out there” says Griffon, “and the various consultants that are out there. It is also important to use the various resources that are out there, like VGM Club, for equipment, materials, and support.”

VGM Club has many kitchen renovation solutions. This includes equipment, flooring and more. Check out a snapshot of our offerings by reading our Renovation Guide. Find all of our solutions on www.vgmclub.com or contact your VGM Club rep at 800-363-5480.