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August 14, 2022

As the foodservice and hospitality community get ready to bid adieu to cold weather dining, the days are getting longer. Before too long winter is going to give way to some warm weather. And with it, the launch of a new club season.

Table vendors are already working closely with the club’s customers to bring them the new trends they’ve seen. Then share these ideas with the community of club managers at local shows. Every year, customers are eager to shop the showrooms in search of new tabletop looks. They are constantly on the lookout for new table items to show to the clientele’s club season menus.

Club managers are excited for upcoming showroom purchases. There are already several really cool things, including a brushed stainless finish from Eastern Tabletop and the latest collection from Steelite. Haber is great for spring/summer with an exciting lineup of resin items that feature a luxurious, chunky look and some really pretty colors.

There’s even more high-end melamine this season, which is great for its durability and weight. Every year, melamine on the market improves dramatically. Table vendors are seeing more interesting cups and serving pieces. The key to recommending melamine is that it’s much easier for staff to handle, for use in a buffet or for easy ironing.

Our club chefs are among the most creative cooks in the foodservice industry. So it’s important that we look to our chefs to get a sense of where they are taking the menus for a new season. Clubs are striving to serve restaurant-quality food in the style of restaurants. It is suggested to use a separate porcelain banquet set with rimmed plates for banquet and coupe for “dinner for members”.

Many club managers are still trying to understand how to add plant-based menu items. Plant-based foods are everywhere, from Burger King to white-tablecloth restaurants. It’s a big deal for your reduced carbon footprint. Some clubs are embracing a smaller portion of “protein” and more vegetables, with fruits as vegetables, including breadfruit, jackfruit and papaya as meat and carbohydrate substitutes.

Warmer weather will also be marked by the return of club members to outdoor dining. Club patrons are always challenging themselves to create a new look for poolside and al fresco dining. This year they are using bento boxes. They are neat and have covers, and create the feel of a personal tray.

It’s interesting to try to balance a green and sustainable solution, which put a simple item like a straw in the crosshairs. Some customers hate paper straws because they fall apart, but they are a necessary evil. The good news is that they are finally available with wrapped and unwrapped options.

Nothing changes more radically each year than cocktail party memberships in clubs. Club manager clients continue to do an amazing job of listening to and responding to the needs of their members. Topping this year’s list will be herbal and fruit-infused cocktails. Look for bar managers in clubs to adapt aging in their own kegs. There are also more custom and homemade bitters and bacon infusions and garnishes. This club season, you’ll see wine-based cocktails at clubs with the use of lavender and flowers as garnishes.