What are the emerging trends that can elevate club offerings and optimise trade? Club Management spoke to club operators and stakeholders to find out.

FOOD: Mexican on the menu

“2024 will see the advent of many exciting food offerings into clubs’ menus with a focus on variety and lost cost a headline influence for operators.

The emergence of authentic Mexican dishes such as tacos al pastor; tacos packed with flavorsome slow roasted pulled pork shoulder and grilled pineapple served in warm tortillas, and delicious salsas made from tamatillos, fresh tomatoes, coriander, chilli and guacamole, are proving to be very popular as quick and tasty menu additions for those just wanting bar snack type foods to enjoy with a beverage.” Ralph Kober, CEO, Club Managers Association Australia

BEVERAGE: Draught cocktails the right serve

“In regards to pre-batched cocktails, RSL/Club visitors are more likely than the average on-premise visitor to see the benefits of [these drinks] being more convenient (+3pp) and the serve being consistently reliable (+4pp) in pre-batched and draught cocktails. One quarter of RSL visitors see pre-batched/draught cocktails as better value for money.” James Phillips, Client Solutions Director, CGA by NIQ


“The FIFA Women’s World Cup was an event that communities really got behind – it appealed to a diverse range of customers. We need to take our learnings from the Women’s World Cup to offer a range of sport, music and broader cultural and community initiatives.

“2024 is about providing a diverse offering and asking existing members and future customers what interests them. Clubs are a precinct within a precinct and really can offer a variety of events and experiences – wellbeing, F&B, entertainment, community and much more. The clubs that will thrive are those that are tapping into the local audience intel to maintain their relevance. Engagement is not one-size-fits-all – we are here to maximise intergenerational connection and belonging.” Margot Smith, CEO, RSL&SCA

MARKETING: Appealing to young adults

“The marketing of clubs has evolved massively over the past few years, and I believe this will continue into 2024. The most successful campaigns will be the ones that are able to tell a story, as opposed to “selling” a product. The rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and new age technologies is testament to that.”  James Bennett, Marketing Manager, Norths Leagues & Services Club

STAFFING: Reward and recognition

“We have introduced a reward and recognition system to instantly thank our staff. We love our staff and want them to feel wanted, acknowledged, and rewarded for their remarkable work. The staff are our first customers, and we need to treat them as such! This will minimise staff retention issues.” Adam Wiencke, General Manager, Carina Leagues Club

This is as an extract of a feature from Club Management Summer 23-24. You can check out more emerging trends below.

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