Excerpt from the Book
Chapter IV: The Pillow CommitteeOne
Unlike most private-club committees, which are typically focused on one specific task or area of club operations, a Pillow Committee has SEVERAL responsibilities—all fundamental to the very existence of the club as the members have come to know and cherish it. The mission of a club Pillow Committee typically includes:
1. Ensuring that all the pillows throughout the clubhouse are properly fluffed and accurately situated on a daily basis.
2. Recommending the appropriate repair and/or replacement of pillows as they become worn or torn.
3. Guaranteeing that ALL club areas that are in true need of a pillow not only have one but also have the RIGHT one.
4. Thoroughly and objectively evaluating the pros and cons of "re-covering vs. purchasing new" (and, once the proper decision has been made in this regard, overseeing the correct implementation of the committee’s onerous decision in this regard).
Because of the above, most clubs are VERY cautious in the selection of candidates for membership on this vitally important committee. Finding appropriately qualified members—people who both really know their pillows and can also multitask—is no easy matter. As a result, membership on a club’s Pillow Committee is often limited to not more than 20 people.
Traditionally, members of a club’s Pillow Committee have been females. In the past 10 years, however, the sex barrier for potential Pillow Committee members, as in other areas of private-club operations, has been broken (Huzzah, huzzah!), and in an increasing number of clubs, males are now considered suitable (although still not preferred) candidates. Bernard Quincy Frank, for example, is now reportedly on the Pillow Committee of two above-average private clubs, neither of which, quite candidly, would have given him a second thought a mere decade ago.
Chapter V: The Pillow CommitteeOne
QUESTION: Can private-club food-and-beverage operations be profitable?
ANSWER: OF COURSE THEY CAN—and except for very unusual and/or extreme cases, they ALWAYS SHOULD BE. The reason YOUR particular club, unlike nearly every other private club in America and around the world, may be losing a teensy-weensy bit of money in this important department can always be reduced to one or more of the following:
1. Your club is open too many hours, too many days, too many weeks, and/or too many months.
2. Your club is closed too many hours, too many days, too many weeks, and/or too many months.
3. Your club has too many items on the menu.
4. Your club doesn’t have enough items on the menu.
5. Your club needs to take more outside business.
6. Your club needs to take less outside business.
7. Your prices are too high, thereby discouraging profitable business.
8. Your prices are too low, thereby encouraging unprofitable business.
9. You haven’t yet learned how to “make it up in volume.” (“Making it up in volume,” as mentioned in passing earlier in this book, is one of the most fundamental and sacred phrases that any club member can master—one that should immediately be memorized and repeated as often as possible to whomever will listen, particularly in House Committee meetings and at member-attended cocktail parties.)
10. Your club needs MORE SOCIAL MEMBERS.