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Club Advisors' Helpful Hints                            (Blog)

February Blog - Attending Golf Industry Show and Club Management World Conference to Gather Data for March Blog!

January Blog


Terry Clark, CCM


Clubhouse Maintenance

30-Foot Circle - You Own It!

How do you, as a general manager, implement a program of clubhouse maintenance that pleases the members and staff and produces a proud standard of excellence for clubhouse maintenance.  It is not easy.  It is continuous.  It is work. It takes a lot of work.  It takes a lot of attention to detail and follow-up. It takes supervision and inspection.  Things go best when the boss inspects.  It takes effort and resources.  Most of all, it takes a system.  We are pleased to share with you the Club Advisors’ system of Clubhouse Maintenance.

Every co-worker has a workspace.  It might be the irrigation room down at the maintenance facility, the dry storage in the kitchen or it might be the Controller’s Office.  Wherever that workspace might exist, the person occupying that position is responsible for the maintenance of that workspace up to a 30-foot circle around their workspace.

They are responsible for the cleanliness, repair, and maintenance of EVERYTHING within that 30-foot workspace.  If a light bulb is out, replace it.  If the scuffed baseboard is ugly, paint it.  If there is a stain on the rug, remove it.  If the blinds are broken, fix or replace them.  If you don’t have the skill to complete the maintenance or repair, ensure it gets on the tracking list for someone else to do it. Ensure that all equipment, accessories, working papers, and items are always neatly arranged and presentable to anyone entering your work area.

As a general manager, it is your job to ensure a high standard of clubhouse maintenance.  You create the culture, establish the standards, and give the co-workers the tools and resources needed to meet those expectations.  The hardest tasks associated with these processes are recording and tracking the maintenance issues needing attention or resources.

How great would it be to meet with the social committee and give them a tracking device of maintenance and repairs, have them review what is recorded by the members or co-workers, and solicit any additional items needing maintenance attention?  The report will include the status of existing maintenance and repair needs, the priority for completion, the cost of what it will take to get the job done, who will do the work and the anticipated date of completion.  Wouldn’t that make life great for all involved?

It is our pleasure to provide any industry professionals who desire a Facility Maintenance System with Implementation Instructions upon personal request. Simply send us your Club Name, Your Name, Your Email Address to  We will send the system to you personally within 30 days, no cost, no requirements, no obligation.

We hope you try it and find it as rewarding as we do.  If you got to the end of this blog, thank you for reading. 


Terry Clark, CCM, Manager




December Blog


Chef Joel Corwin


My #1 Enemy as an Executive Chef


I have walked into many operations that were not functioning properly over the years while being tasked to solve the problems.  What I have found is one the biggest issues I see in kitchens is maintaining consistency.  There is no magic bullet solution to solve this, but rather it takes hard work, organization, and leadership. 


Documentation is the biggest tool in a chef’s kit when it comes to achieving consistent service.  Having proper procedures and processes documented is a step too many managers skip to their detriment.  I start with building a proper kitchen staff manual that lays out things such as my expectations of employees, rules of the kitchen, HR information and training.


After my kitchen manual, some other things I feel are key items to be thoroughly documented are:


  • Set shifts/schedule up in a timely manner allows your staff to plan their lives outside of work as well as allowing chefs to keep control of payroll expenses.
  • An organizational chart detailing the management/ownership structure to let your staff know who other managers are and who they should talk with in case issues arise when the Executive Chef is not available.
  • Job descriptions are so very important when it comes to hiring a staff member as well as letting staff members know exactly what is expected of them while working.
  • Checklists for cleaning, proper food storage, and maintenance let employees know what needs to be done as well as letting them know they will be held accountable.
  • Station setup checklist that is written well tell your cooks what they need, how much they need, and what needs to be done.  Mine also doubles as a line inspection sheet for myself or Sous Chefs.
  • Recipes are great and good, but they are only useful when they are accurately written and used by the staff.  I see more kitchens with poorly written recipes, wrong recipes, or a book in the corner gathering dust because it’s never used.
  • Plate sheets are something I use for both servers and cooks cause they detail all recipes used on a plate, portions of items on the plate, garnishes and any allergens on the plate.  When I do a menu evolution I hand out updated sheets along with the new menu and prep lists to all cooks.


Now comes the part of being an Executive Chef I enjoy greatly, employee training.  I take great pride in teaching my staff everything from proper cooking techniques to how to clean a deep fryer.  If you take the time to build proper documentation then training gets much easier and more effective.   Training is not simply handing someone recipes or just drilling responsibilities, but rather it’s about giving them the confidence and knowledge to do their job.  When proper time is taken to give in-depth training upon employee hire, mistakes will be reduced already.  Now add to this scheduled training refreshers throughout the year to address changes as well as give your employees a chance to ask questions.  I try and do monthly meetings broken down by shift and production center.  These need not be long, overly managed meetings but rather can be something quick while walking your kitchen(s), stop and pull the staff together to go over a few things.  Lastly don’t be afraid to get dirty with your staff and work with them on the line, doing prep or cleaning the kitchen the way you want it done.  Leading by example while teaching your staff is one of the best ways to show them the standards you want to be upheld.


I have found that if the time is taken to improve these two areas that overall kitchen performance improves greatly.  By leading your staff and giving them the tools to succeed they will, in turn, make your kitchen a success.   Proper training leads to improved morale, improved cost control, fewer work injuries, and much-improved food quality so it is definitely in a chef’s best interest to put the time into developing a comprehensive training program for both new hires as well as veteran staff.


Joel R. Corwin, Executive Chef




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