I am an executive chef at a small non-profit, private fine dining restaurant/club in a small city of about 60,000 people. I have been working for about 2 months now and can now officially say that all the food, recipes and new menus are all mine. Even with all the grand new menus happening we are not getting any new members.
The house manager and I run the business with only 7 staff currently. There is a volunteer board of members with a President and VP and so on. While they do not micro-manage they do make sure we stay on top of the things we need to, like sales and preparing special nights for community events. We have to go through this board to make any significant changes (i.e membership costs, new equipment, large scale maintenance).
OK for the question at hand. The board is pushing us to make the club more young friendly. We have less than 150 members and only 4 of them are under 40. My opinion for the lack of younger members is the monthly membership fee. I just don't feel that younger generations are going to want to pay a membership just to go out to eat. There is plenty of competition for us and they aren't private clubs. So my question is this, what could we add to our services other than just fine food to make our club more appetizing to the younger generation. We are located down town and are surrounded by buildings, so having a golf course like the other clubs is out of the question :).
I have thought of making a lower tier membership that would allow people to come in and pay a nightly membership fee just on the nights they come to eat, so they don't feel the pressure of a monthly bill. On the other hand though, we would need to offer more to the people who do pay the monthly membership. Any and all ideas would be helpful. Thanks!