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THE WHITERIVER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB


Near Quechee, Vermont, located just a few miles west of the river dividing Vermont and New Hampshire that gave it its name, was the Whiteriver Golf and Country Club. Quechee was about 15 minutes west of Hanover, New Hampshire, the home of Dartmouth College and a regional medical center. The Quechee area was settled long ago and still had many small villages and farms. In recent decades, however, the area had acquired many retirement and professional families as well as weekend and recreational homes. Referred to as The Club, the Whiteriver Golf and Country Club had two excellent and very scenic golf courses, half a dozen outdoor tennis courts and a large swimming pool, all centered about a spacious clubhouse. The clubhouse had a well-appointed members lounge and locker rooms and a large dining room with a comfortable bar that could be opened up to a large flagstone terrace. The clubhouse was surrounded by carefully attended lawns and pocket gardens. The club’s membership was composed of families with children, many senior citizens, and professionals from the Quechee, White River Junction, and Hanover areas. During the summer season and early fall, golf was the main attraction. At all seasons, the club’s dining facilities and bar, open to the public, were consistently well utilized. Mr. Nathan “Nat” Collins, the Whiteriver Club’s general manager, believed that the increasing revenue of the food and beverage (F&B) department was essential for the club’s success. Dining on a typical mid-week summer evening would have about a hundred covers. The club also hosted a growing number of special events such as anniversaries, birthdays, luncheons for professional groups, as well as theme-related sources. Nat Collins attributed much of the F&B department’s success to the club’s chef, Juan Moreno. Chef Moreno, originally from Puerto Rico, had joined the club’s staff five years ago. He was very well liked by the members of the club as well as its staff. Chef Moreno reported to the general manager as did the clubhouse director, the F&B director, and the directors of the Tennis, Golf, and Grounds departments. Chef Moreno oversaw twenty employees—two sous chefs, line cooks, and dishwashers—usually seven per shift except for special events when his staff increased. THE FOURTH OF JULY The largest event each year occurred on July 4th. A large tent was rented, set up next to the Terrace, and about 450 members attended. A lavish barbeque was served beginning at 5:30. A seven-piece band from Boston played on the Terrace to entertain dinner guests. At dusk there was a fireworks display on the grounds near the tent. As soon as the fireworks were finished, well after dark, the members began to leave. The annual Fourth of July barbeque and fireworks was the largest and most exciting event of the year for both members and club employees. This year, the newest sous chef had bought $150.00 worth of fireworks and sparklers in his New Hampshire hometown to celebrate his birthday. While it was illegal to set off fireworks in Vermont without training, the sous chef and most of the kitchen staff went to the field behind the clubhouse and proceeded to set off these additional fireworks, soon after the main display. Everyone got involved and the sky was again lit up and the air reverberated with explosions. The kitchen staff then decorated Chef Moreno’s car with glow sticks before heading home for some well-earned rest. THE NEXT MORNING At 7 A.M., July 5th, Mr. Jacob Karl, a former president of the Whiteriver Club and current board member, appeared in the genaral manager’s office above the kitchen. Mr. Karl was furious. He shouted that “the chefs had set off fireworks in the field behind my house.” He went on to say, “I can’t believe you’d let these kids run out of control and act so unprofessionally.” Mr. Karl emphasized that since the employees were on duty the club was liable. He went on to threaten the general manager of seeking a lawsuit and forcing the club into bankruptcy. With that accusation, Mr. Karl loudly demanded that Nat “take action or else!” As some of the kitchen staff had assembled at 7:00 to begin preparing for the day, they had observed Mr. Karl storm through the kitchen and someone had even overheard his comments to the GM. Quickly conferring together, the kitchen staff all agreed to deny their involvement in or knowledge of the incident. Soon the GM called Chef Moreno into his office to find out what had happened the night before. Chef Moreno said that he’d heard something about some local kids setting off fireworks. He said that he didn’t believe that any of the club’s employees were involved. The GM next asked the sous chef who had bought the fireworks and about what had happened. This sous chef responded just as Chef Moreno had. The GM then called the other sous chef into his office. This sous chef had just come to work and hadn’t been part of the earlier agreement to “play dumb.” He told Nat how the kitchen staff had set off their own fireworks display. Nat Collins then proceeded to go around the clubhouse asking everyone, from wait staff to dishwashers, who had worked the previous evening if they had participated in the fireworks. When asked directly, most denied their involvement. As his questioning of the staff went on for the next hour or so, the general manager grew increasingly distressed. He began to wonder if he could ever resolve the situation. THE WOODWARD HOTEL After walking the 16 blocks across town from the Woodward Hotel to the Port Authority bus station, Doug Devoto always looked forward to the half hour’s bus ride to Montclair, New Jersey. The ride home was a time to unwind and reflect upon his day. As his bus entered the Lincoln tunnel, Doug’s mind returned to Louisa’s comment to him on leaving work, “I wonder what Dan will do after all of us GSMs talk to him about Shoshana?” THE WOODWARD The Woodward was a 115-room, European boutique style hotel located in Manhattan (New York City) on West 55th Street between the Avenue of the Americas (6th) and 7th Avenues. The Woodward was centrally located—quite close to the theater district, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park, and much of New York’s fine shopping and restaurants. There were three types of rooms. Most were bed-sitting rooms with marble baths. Standard amenities included a color TV, refrigerator, microwave, dinnerware, hairdryer, and a safe. Suites had in addition a separate dressing room and a comfortably furnished living room. On the top two floors of the hotel were spacious, multiroom penthouses each with a Jacuzzi, fax machine, and two or three TVs in addition to the hotel’s usual amenities. A continental breakfast room, a small business center, and a few conference rooms shared the hotel’s second floor with the hotel management offices. On the street floor a small lounge flanked the lobby on one side, with the front desk, concierge, bell stand, and luggage room on the other side with reservations, PBX, and auditing behind the front desk. The Woodward was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sabo. Mr. Sabo had also acted as the hotel’s general manager until 10 years ago when he hired Dan Kerwin as the GM. The Sabos lived in one of the penthouses. Both were 79 years old and increasingly infirm. Mr. Sabo had a hunched back and walked very slowly with the aid of a cane. Mrs. Sabo always walked with her arm linked through her husband’s. Mr. Sabo continued to take an active interest in the hotel. He reviewed occupancy and reservations data sheets daily, met with Kerwin daily, and often walked around and chatted with hotel staff. Mr. Sabo repeatedly stated in conversations with guests, staff, and friends that staff “conviviality” was the most important thing about his hotel. He stressed the importance of friendly relationships between guests and employees but especially between employees. One of Mr. Sabo’s standard comments to new employees was, “You have a lot of very nice people here to learn from and enjoy yourself with. Everybody gets along with everybody else. You never have to worry about anyone being nasty here.”


Read the case carefully. In an essay, answer the following:

Assume you are a hired consultant. Offer strategies on how the club could potentially increase their food and beverage revenue.

Considering the issue presented in the last paragraph, what is the recommended approach?

. Submissions will be graded against the “Writing Expectations” rubric posted in our online classroom as well as the strength of strategic recommendations.

Apply APA formatting (title page, introduction, in-text citations, concluding paragraph, headings, and reference page).

. Due: Sunday of Week 2