allene222

Our racers don't drink enough

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Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

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Our club is much better. After a Wednesday race you can either have a $20 steak sandwich in the bistro or pay $40 for a steak in the restaurant(No sailing attire allowed) . This comes with salad, chips and attitude from the fucking hopeless entitled staff. Hang onto what you have and don't ever let anyone be commodore who has 'Big ideas'. The best clubs are always the ones where the members cook the BBQ.

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31 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

One issue regarding reduced bar take is the driving home sober thing. Having an effect in all civilized countries.

What encouragement do you have for families who aren't sailing to attend? Kids meals - priced accordingly?

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The crowd is pretty much racers, crew, and the volunteers who make it all possible.  I occasionally see family of the volunteers but not often.  I was kind of wondering what other clubs charged for the races and meals.  

 

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1 hour ago, Port Phillip Sailor said:

One issue regarding reduced bar take is the driving home sober thing. Having an effect in all civilized countries.

What encouragement do you have for families who aren't sailing to attend? Kids meals - priced accordingly?

You could give them a well-meaning but condescending lecture on the rules. That should be outstandingly popular

13 minutes ago, allene222 said:

The crowd is pretty much racers, crew, and the volunteers who make it all possible.  I occasionally see family of the volunteers but not often.  I was kind of wondering what other clubs charged for the races and meals.  

 

That's the answer right there..... figure out how to get significant others involved. I don't think the charge is necessarily the big issue

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

Just put a decent food truck in the parking lot and be done with it. Each event can be a different theme.

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40 minutes ago, VWAP said:

Just put a decent food truck in the parking lot and be done with it. Each event can be a different theme.

The point is the club needs to make money off the food to cover the cost of putting on the race, but the trophies, gas for the CB, contribute to the club general fund, etc.  The club has traditionally made a fair amount of the annual budget off beer can racing but that came mainly from the bar.

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I'm not really sure that any other clubs' prices are relevant, unless they are located in SF and cater to a crowd similar to yours. But FWIW, my local club charges $10 per burger (or $9 for a veggie burger); side orders (soup, salad, fries, etc.) are an extra $4. This is sit-down dining, with paid servers in a smart but informal dining room.

You could be correct that raising your prices from $7 to $11 - a 57% increase - will result in some sticker shock; but it doesn't have to be 'all or nothing', does it? Perhaps you and the treasurer could meet halfway (at $9), and see how that affects participation.

I agree with Steam Flyer that if you can include the racers' significant others in the post-race socializing and dining, that will probably result in (much) higher profits than simply raising prices. Do you have a social committee? They need to brainstorm how to make the events fun and welcoming for non-sailors.

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3 hours ago, allene222 said:

The crowd is pretty much racers, crew, and the volunteers who make it all possible.  I occasionally see family of the volunteers but not often.  I was kind of wondering what other clubs charged for the races and meals.  

 

45 USD annual membership. 10 USD per race. Potluck every other race where club supplies the meat, utensils, BBQ, and misc. items like ketchup.

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So, your'e saying that your Food and Beverage activities are wholly paying for your racing (or else you're ripping visitors off to pay for club members racing).

Non-transparent cross subsidisation like that is a sure fire way to send the club broke.

Likewise, a 60% hike in food prices will result in either mass desertion or mass lynching.

Ideally, each activity should be washing its own face:  Food should by paying for all of Food, Bar for all of Bar, and Racing for all of Racing.

You do keep a dissected Cash Book that tells you what you are paying out in each category, don't you?

This may be seen as a big change by members, but I suggest that you just have to move that way.

I would suggest that you start by introducing Race Fees for members, start low, with say $20 a season.

Then also up your Food and Beverage charges by whatever the traffic will bear, say increase $2 for a burger and increase $1 for everything else.

I have a fairly simple multi-sheet Excell workbook that does a dissected cash-book with running P&L for each category if that would help.  PM me.

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Prices at our club (CYC Seattle) are $7 food, $5-$6 drinks ($5 beer, $6 wine or speciality drinks).  Menu items vary but I always find it to be a good deal.  They have meat and veggie options.  They have race fees and the races are run very professionally. 

The other major club in town (Sloop Tavern Yacht Club) has no race fees, volunteer race committee, uses gov't marks instead of set marks (so courses are rarely square) and goes to the bar after racing instead of having a clubhouse.  I prefer the CYC food to the bar food, but both get the job done when you are hungry.  I like the STYC race courses.

I'm a member of both, race with both, and think they are both great clubs with very different ways of doing things.

I'm not a member of Seattle Yacht Club, but they are a the fancy one with a big restaurant and per-month food minimums for each member.  I do like it when I get invited to events there.  Their Tri-Island series is fun and the primary distance racing that starts and ends in Seattle (vs being a boat day away from here).

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1 hour ago, Brass said:

So, your'e saying that your Food and Beverage activities are wholly paying for your racing (or else you're ripping visitors off to pay for club members racing).

Non-transparent cross subsidisation like that is a sure fire way to send the club broke.

You're probably correct that the F&B is paying the whole freight - and then some - for the cost of racing: the OP has told us that "the club needs to make money off the food to cover the cost of putting on the race, buy the trophies, gas for the CB, contribute to the club general fund, etc. The club has traditionally made a fair amount of the annual budget off beer can racing ..." [emphasis added]. However, no one is forcing non-members to participate: presumably they retain the options of joining the club, or choosing to racing elsewhere. I'm not convinced that anyone is being "ripped off" ($100 doesn't seem crazy for a 17-race series).

Non-transparent cross subsidisation might arguably be undesirable, but it's far from the guaranteed path to insolvency you've suggested. 

37 minutes ago, Alex W said:

uses gov't marks instead of set marks

OMG! ;)

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6 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Our club is much better. After a Wednesday race you can either have a $20 steak sandwich in the bistro or pay $40 for a steak in the restaurant(No sailing attire allowed) . This comes with salad, chips and attitude from the fucking hopeless entitled staff. Hang onto what you have and don't ever let anyone be commodore who has 'Big ideas'. The best clubs are always the ones where the members cook the BBQ.

Well said...

"attitude from the fucking hopeless entitled staff"

I'm going to rip that line off.   Well done.

I may add an ly to hopeless...  :-)

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You need more entries. 

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6 hours ago, LB 15 said:

Our club is much better. After a Wednesday race you can either have a $20 steak sandwich in the bistro or pay $40 for a steak in the restaurant(No sailing attire allowed) . This comes with salad, chips and attitude from the fucking hopeless entitled staff. Hang onto what you have and don't ever let anyone be commodore who has 'Big ideas'. The best clubs are always the ones where the members cook the BBQ.

Club Managers also have an obsession with borrowing money. I think they believe they'll be kept around to make sure it's paid off & they view it as job security. 

MBBC poached the manager from the RSL, that tells you everything you need to know about their goals. Had been a two year wait for hardstand, now its half empty. 

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You need some entertainment

 

Mobile-Stripper-Van-Miami.jpg

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Look at jibeset.net for SFBay race schedules and fees.  

Oakland puts out a simple post race buffet for racers and hangers on and sells drinks and sit down dinners/brunches for more serious meals. Typical brunch is 10-15, dinner 15-20. Pitcher maybe $10? 

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Thanks all for the input.  Racing is a benefit of membership and many of the racers who are members don't do much else with the club. Membership is $300 per year so I don't think that the food is subsidizing the racing.  They are trying to make both food and drinks make their standard profit margins which to cover the club overhead.  We have a clubhouse to maintain for example.  I was just trying to see what others think is reasonable.  Good input, thanks again.

@LionessRacing Great resource.  I have to find out why the hell we are not listed.

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5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

You could give them a well-meaning but condescending lecture on the rules. That should be outstandingly popular

 

FB- Doug

IDIOT!

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FWIW, we rent a 44.’ Slip for ~600/ month, and have a $75 quarterly galley minimum, dues nominal. 

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Have you thought of making a concerted effort to recruit alcoholic sailors?

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1 minute ago, LionessRacing said:

FWIW, we rent a 44.’ Slip for ~600/ month, and have a $75 quarterly galley minimum, dues nominal. 

Yeah.  That is what is freaking me out.  If I take the money I spend on the boat divided by how many times I use the boat per year I get a pretty healthy number, one that would freak out my wife. If the racing goes away, that number would even scare me.  Whatever they charge is mouse nuts to me but that is not the case for the guys who go out with 20 year old sails and never get on the podium.  And we just can't afford to have fewer racers.

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20 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Have you thought of making a concerted effort to recruit alcoholic sailors?

That should be easy.

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42 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Yeah.  That is what is freaking me out.  If I take the money I spend on the boat divided by how many times I use the boat per year I get a pretty healthy number, one that would freak out my wife. If the racing goes away, that number would even scare me.  Whatever they charge is mouse nuts to me but that is not the case for the guys who go out with 20 year old sails and never get on the podium.  And we just can't afford to have fewer racers.

Some of us get on the podium with 17 yr old sails.... helps to build enthusiasm gradually. We do a Sunday brunch series Jan -March with brunch speakers followed by a race, followed by buffet and awards (hats). Annual rules review, Kame Richards on how to race on Estuary ( shifty, currents, shore shadows etc) and others. Send the non spinnaker and smaller boats out first, faster/bigger & multi go last, resulting finishes are closer, and better social aspect. 

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53 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Yeah.  That is what is freaking me out.  If I take the money I spend on the boat divided by how many times I use the boat per year I get a pretty healthy number, one that would freak out my wife. If the racing goes away, that number would even scare me.  Whatever they charge is mouse nuts to me but that is not the case for the guys who go out with 20 year old sails and never get on the podium.  And we just can't afford to have fewer racers.

Yep 

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So here is story to make those of us trying to keep small clubs going cry!.

A small but old yacht club had an ageing lady member and the little club had been a big part of her and her late husbands life for over 50 years.

Their kids must have treated them both badly because she left this little club a bequest rumoured to be about $1.0 mil. in her will.

Smart and wise heads have prevailed and no big ideas adopted and apart from a new wharf, the funds are applied each week by selling beers and barbeque food at a slight loss after racing.

So a can of beer was $2.00. and a steak burger $2.00.

Popular place!

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The opposite is the Lota East Fishing and Fighting Club LB refers to where if you buy a cartoon of beer to have after racing on the boat you are charged full bar rate on each bottle in the cartoon.

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Never heard of the place.

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9 hours ago, allene222 said:

...The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money... Any advice would be appreciated.

How do your Club ugly people get laid now? 

Put a bunch of them on your Entertainment/Bar Committee and the tills will start chinking flatout...along with reports on wife-swapping.

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11 hours ago, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

10 for the regatta menu , 

1.50 for a beer....and as you can see,  thats a good look'n beer.

normally you charge what the market can handle 

i see that you are in San Francisco....the land of overpaid Porsche driving pencil necks .

Id ratchet up the price....label it craft beer or something ...custom cheeseburger with imported beef.. include a calorie load label  on the burger .....hit em hard , big time 

make it trendy...order beer and burgers  with somekinda Iphone app

 

IMG_8255.png

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19 hours ago, allene222 said:

The crowd is pretty much racers, crew, and the volunteers who make it all possible.  I occasionally see family of the volunteers but not often.  I was kind of wondering what other clubs charged for the races and meals.  

 

Sounds like there is a lot of drinking going on, on the boats. The key is to get people off their boats and into the club bar. This means making people want to go in there and not hang out on their boats.

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make beer $.50 cheaper but charge a seasonal racing fee for members

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21 hours ago, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

our beercan series is BYOB and we do sort of a pot luck as far as food..  there are no food/alcohol facilities at our club..

and bitching about a $4 raise in price,  aren't you special,   would you rather pay the extra or have the facilities shutdown?

 

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Charge 2X for the crews and captains on the podium.  Some cheap bastard will sandbag to fourth to not pay and maybe a boat that never podiums can pay the surcharge.

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42 minutes ago, El Capitano said:

Charge 2X for the crews and captains on the podium.  Some cheap bastard will sandbag to fourth to not pay and maybe a boat that never podiums can pay the surcharge.

Brilliant!  I like that.

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23 hours ago, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

This is what you do,  get the club to put on movie night,  get a projector / screen / source...  give the famalies something to do while the kids go sailing..   As long as you don't charge for movie night you'll be ok.. 

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"Racing is a benefit of membership"

This is not an appropriate method of costing. The user pays the cost. The non racers are currently subsidizing the racing side of the club.

We have a per race fee for members and non members.  The annual fee to save the guys money who are going to race regardless is backwards logic. If you tell someone new it will cost  $100 annual fee to race when they don't know how to race or are not positive is going to turn them off. If you make a per race then new comers have a small $5 or $10 fee.

Inform the racers that they need to start funding the club's race costs. Fuel for the powerboats, trophies and all the other stuff no one sees.

17 races @ $5 = $85 (members)       $5 per race or $75 for the series

17 races @ $10 = $170(non members)       $10 per race or $150 for the series

Food costs go up. Tell them we haven't raised the price of food in 5 years. The club needs the support. 

In most clubs the owners are members and often the crews are not or a mixture. Speak with the owners and plead your case. Encourage them to encourage their crew to support the racing series by food & drink. If the owners only buys enough beer for the ride in then the crew needs to buy it on shore at your bar.

 

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Find a local bar and make it your clubhouse. Bar owner gets a ready made clientele, some interesting new decor and the members don't have to waste time with dickwads on house committees arguing  about the price of the beer. A sailing club should be about what happens on the water. You don't need your own clubhouse to drink and talk shit in.

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2 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

bitching about a $4 raise in price,  aren't you special,  would you rather pay the extra or have the facilities shutdown?

See post #23. He said he's not personally concerned about the prices going up. His worry is about other people being sufficiently put off that they decide not to race.

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15 hours ago, lydia said:

The opposite is the Lota East Fishing and Fighting Club LB refers to where if you buy a cartoon of beer to have after racing on the boat you are charged full bar rate on each bottle in the cartoon.

And is there No Other place to buy this said cartoon of beer ?      'cause if so....well...there is difference between retail and wholesale !

 

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I used to try to support the club by shopping there but no more!

Now I go up the road 5 minutes to the local hotel.

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See if you can get Trump on the committee, looks like he’s doing a good job with economics over there.

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27 minutes ago, LB 15 said:

Find a local bar and make it your clubhouse. Bar owner gets a ready made clientele, some interesting new decor and the members don't have to waste time with dickwads on house committees arguing  about the price of the beer. A sailing club should be about what happens on the water. You don't need your own clubhouse to drink and talk shit in.

Tried that.  The bar ultimately decided that it actually didn't get any benefit from the cheap-ass sailors who thought it was cool to sneak their own beer and wine in, carried their drinks out to their cars, didn't buy food, and generally were loud and obnoxious.  

Normal people, oddly enough, aren't all that amused by watching sailors loudly reenacting jibing duels with bar karate while spilling drinks.

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55 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

Tried that.  The bar ultimately decided that it actually didn't get any benefit from the cheap-ass sailors who thought it was cool to sneak their own beer and wine in, carried their drinks out to their cars, didn't buy food, and generally were loud and obnoxious.  

Normal people, oddly enough, aren't all that amused by watching sailors loudly reenacting jibing duels with bar karate while spilling drinks.

Just got to pick the right bar I guess. The one with lots of Harleys lined up at side are normally Ok. If they start giving you shit just tell them your ride was designed by Harley Davidson's little known cousin  Laurie.

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17 minutes ago, kinardly said:

Allene, are we talking about RYC by any chance? 

no

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Allen, 

You have two agendas that are competing, keep the prices low to attract racers, and keep the prices high for the club to make money.  Since, despite your location, you will probably not go for lesbian mud wrestling with audience participation, all I can suggest, is why only 12 boats?  I'm not sure I would go to a race with the range of boats you have and how many classes?  You've got to get this into the 30s+ and how?  

Offer incentives, take a loss the first year to encourage new sailors.  Free entry fee the first year and reduced price food and beer (from the increased prices) to first year skippers and crew (make them feel they are getting a bargainI.  A prize for best first year boat each year (you ever see a 4yo brag about their 8th place soccer trophy?).  You have to build the fleet, nothing else matters.  

I did a cruise years ago with a club of guys and when I asked how to join, I was quickly advised that joining is easy, getting out is hard.  You need to adopt that, get them in and embrace.

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On 09/03/2018 at 7:55 AM, allene222 said:

Our club has a 17 race series with about 12 boats entered in each race.  Boats are 20 to 41 feet with crew size increasing accordingly. The club has no paid staff and costs are low.  The club has traditionally made money on the bar but apparently the bar take is a lot lower than it was 5 years ago and we are losing money.  The cook your own burger, salad and sides meal has been $7 and beer is $3.  The race series is free to members and $100 to non members.  The treasurer wants to raise dinner to $11 and I am freaking out that this will be too much of a shock and that the frog will jump out of the boiling water and we will lose even more money.

What do other clubs charge for various aspects of their beer can racing programs?  Any advice would be appreciated.

We have discussed raising prices for individual meals and offering meal tickets for race series that are cheaper per meal.

I am freaking out because these races are an important part of my life. I don't want them to end. 

allene,

 

I think you have 3 problems here and all 3 are not that hard to look at changing and remember cheap beer and food gets punters in.  

 

Also remember that there is not that many Sailing / Yacht clubs that people will not enjoy sitting down having a coffee or a beer and feed at looking at the water on a weekend or midweek. . Also think about hiring out your club mid week and think outside the square and maybe try - Personalised training before and after work / yoga classes / night time mid week meetings or even nursing mothering groups to hire the club out too. What about junior Sail trainng both club juniors and school groups. Can you get Sailing for the disabled at your club ? At my home club, Sailability has helped pay for the upgrades of the shower and toilets and hard stand area. Sailability has helped find well over $150k for our club from government and corporate money. We even run solar on the roof to help pay the power bills. 

 

 These are all untapped markets you should look at and if you think out side the square anything can happen.Your club has so much to offer joe public To help pay the bills. Now 

 

Members 

1- Have different memberships and rates. Full / owner, maybe Sailing - crew  and a social memberships 

2- Give each membership a discount benefit. Give cut price beers and food.  At my club the same size beer is different prices e.g non member pays $5.70, social member $5.20 and full member $4.70 

3- Run members draws every Friday nights and Sunday afternoons all year round. It starts at  $500 increasing every week if not won by $50, you must be at the club at the time of the draw to collect. Everyone wants to win free money and the extra bar takings should be more than the increase each week. 

4- Talk to the local universities etc, and tell the students about the club and even start a university Sailing team / club.. Cheap beer and food and maybe a band once a month on a Sunday afternoon. That’s what the students want. Ever give the students the full member discount. 

5- Talk to other clubs and business in the area and see if you can work in with them to increase your own clubs bottom line. 

6- Offer memberships to be paid by direct debits weekly ( who pays a gym membership and forgets to cancel if they stop going and keeps paying for months or years). 

 

Beer / food. 

1- Rase prices of your beer by $1-2 per glass / bottle and then give back discounts to members

2- Get a paid cook / chef and bar staff to cook or serve and run the club on Friday / Saturday/ Sunday’s. 

3- Get a simple food menu for those nights. Start a Sunday morning breakfast all year round. 

4- Spend a few dollars and get a good coffee maker 

5- Maybe sub contract out your kitchen for the food and just sell drinks. That way you get paid rent and they staff and cook the kitchen 

 

Racing.

Focus on the back 1/3 of the fleet and give them races that they are happy with and keep them short. If the front runners take 1 hour to do the race and the back markers take 2 1/2 hours to do the same race the race is to long for th slower boats and they will not come back to the bar they will just go home and will stop racing if they are not having fun. Try round the buoys 1 week and pursuit races the next, mix it up a bit.  Split the fleet in 2 as it gets bigger that way you can run longer races. I’ve always found that if you work on the last 1/3 of the fleet your fleet will grow. If I’m in the last 1/3 every week I’ll be looking at up grading to a faster boat and one of my crew or club members may even buy my old boat and keep it in the club. 

 

Try to offer different fleets if you have room at the club on different days. My club sails off the beach cats, off the beach dinghies, trailer yachts and keel boats out of our 2 club houses. Cats / trailer sailors are Saturday’s, off the beach dinghies are Sunday’s, keel boats sail Saturday or Sunday’s. We even run mid week dinghies, cats and trailer/ keel boat races some round the buoys and the next a pursuit race. We get close to 30 trailer and keel boats on a Wednesday for our pursuit races. 

 

At at the end of the day increasing your memberships and turnover isn’t that hard, it’s about having fun, good value and good friendships just try changing a few small things to start with and maybe work out a business plan to show the club committee.

 

I’m a member of about 4-5 other clubs as a social member as well as my home club just because I save money on piss and food as a member of these other clubs. 

 

Pulpit 

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I have always appreciated the way the Rudder Club in Jacksonville, Florida runs the Mug Race.  I can't wait to finish the Race and get a plate of their famous spaghetti and meat balls.  Costs for the Race always seem reasonable, to include the beer and drinks.  I've been doing the Race each year for about 15 + years.  Never had a bad time.  Might be a good idea to stop by and find out what they are doing right.

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Just to focus, the club does monthly dinners, Sunday breakfast, Friday Potlucks, has lots of members, etc etc. The RC is focused on racing and making that activity profitable again.

There have been lots of good ideas presented here and as well as other places and I certainly appreciate the input.  It seems like the consensus is that charging more for the food is not out of line with other clubs.  I have presented some of the other ideas to the RC for consideration.  One is that I think we need to strongly encourage racers to come to the club after the race, most do, but we should let the few that don't know it is important for the health of the racing activity that they join us and not drink beer on the boat.  The question of drink prices will be raised but it not a race committee decision, it is a club wide decision.

Thanks again for the input.

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Have a contest after each race. The boat and crew that buys the most drinks  gets a fee entry on the next race 

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Our racers don't drink enough

I do

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At our club on San Diego Bay it's a sliding scale on the beer prices. Over X boats the beer goes down a buck. Under it goes up. Seems to help participation.

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24 Friday  Round the cans each year. 5 bucks for 2 Biers and a Bratwurst. Dirty jokes telling, smartass rules discussions, online raceQS replay, no PC, some 4knSB, Great Racing. Life is kind to all of US.

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On 3/11/2018 at 2:50 AM, allene222 said:

Just to focus, the club does monthly dinners, Sunday breakfast, Friday Potlucks, has lots of members, etc etc. The RC is focused on racing and making that activity profitable again.

There have been lots of good ideas presented here and as well as other places and I certainly appreciate the input.  It seems like the consensus is that charging more for the food is not out of line with other clubs.  I have presented some of the other ideas to the RC for consideration.  One is that I think we need to strongly encourage racers to come to the club after the race, most do, but we should let the few that don't know it is important for the health of the racing activity that they join us and not drink beer on the boat.  The question of drink prices will be raised but it not a race committee decision, it is a club wide decision.

Thanks again for the input.

I'd hazard a guess that the original model for financing was based (consciously or not) on:

Food:   Low Price Low Profit Modest Turnover

Beverages Modest Price, Modest Profit High Turnover.

Increasing prices have probably reduced the Profit Margins on both Food and Beverages, and possibly, overall reduction in number of races has generally diminished turnover.

More critically, Beverages have suffered both diminishing Profit and diminishing turnover as a result of changing social behaviour.  I don't think you can change this, nor should you want to.

The only way forward is to re-jig your revenue model, and, as I've previously suggested race fees is the most rational way to do this, given the assumption that members will resist increases in membership dues even more than increases in food prices.

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@Bass  You are correct about the model.  Food has a target margin and we were not making it.  The bar tab is down for all the reasons you state but there the margins are OK.  We don't want to raise entry prices as there is more money to be made in food and we don't want to cut the number of boats so everything is tempered by that.  We have agreed to increase the quality of the food and offer steak for $5 add on fee.  The base price of the food is up $2 although if you buy a 10 meal ticket (a new addition), it is only $1 more.  So better food, higher price.  We are going to cut the cost of the weekly prizes and increased what we are going to spend on series and season prizes for a net savings.  We are also are "encouraging" the racers to come to the club to eat and drink and to bring their families if they can.  Only a couple of racers drink and eat on their boats but it is good to let people know it is important.  Hopefully this will work.

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On 3/9/2018 at 4:31 PM, kinardly said:

Allene, are we talking about RYC by any chance? 

RYC costs a whole lot more than that...

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When I was in college our student society ran a coffee stand (no fancy bullshit, drip coffee with cream and sugar and two kinds of doughnut) not for profit, with 75 cent coffee. The problem is we were making money, more than we could reinvest, and our nonprofit status was in jeopardy. So what did we do? We cut prices, naturally. Coffee was 48 cents in expense (labor + rent + etc + materials) per cup we had figured. There was no way we could earn more than we could spend with 50 cent coffee. The first semester with 50 cent coffee we had our most profitable semester in a long time.

50 cent coffee meant: one dollar got a coffee and a doughnut, or two coffees throughout the day, or coffee for you and a friend. It also got people in the door (cheapest on campus but the same quality).

The lesson here can be applied to your club. Here is my suggestion: Offer racing skips pitchers for their crews at a no profit or at-small-cost rate (limit it, give each boat coupons for 1-3 pitchers per race with dates on them so it's a use it or lose it). Pitchers are essential here: the social aspect keeps people around long enough for their first few drinks to kick in. It also draws people in off their own boats.

Turn up the volume on your sales, and you'll make it back to the black.

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We have a PHRF system. That stands for “Po-boy’s Handicap” etc. 

Races are around govt marks, staggered starts. If we can get three good legs (reach, run, beat; therefore not favoring) then after the race the boats in the back get new ratings. The fastest guy is the one around which all ratings move. As the season (and ratings) progresses, everybody finishes together and all have a chance at the prizes. Which are bottles of booze from the YC bar, augmented by promotional swag. The series winners get something engraved at the end. There is one (yearly) perpetual trophy. Cheap, inclusive, easy, fun. 

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14 hours ago, Hold Fast said:

funny, most clubs would complain their drinkers don't race enough


I come from a drinking town with a sailing problem.....

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