The main purpose of this update is to provide details on how the bar operation will function when it opens this weekend and to also share the very positive news on our financials and club membership since the club re-opened.
: Firstly our membership and financials – since the lockdown was relaxed in May we have enjoyed a flurry of new membership applications and I can happily report that up until the end of June we have 42 new golf members, 15 new play more golf members and 3 new bowls members which deserves and very loud HURRAH !!!!!!. This very welcome success has translated into a positive impact on the club finances and, together with increased revenue from visitors, I am now far more confident that the annual deficit, that I am sure we will still have to cope with this year as a result of the covid 19 crisis, will, at least, be manageable and should fall within the reserves that we had at the end of 2019 which represents a good reason to have a celebratory drink this weekend. The successes that we have enjoyed since the course was re-opened, I believe, is the result of a lot of hard work from a lots of people within the club ranging from how the course and green are delivered through the efforts of Neil, his team and the numerous volunteers on both the course and bowls green, how we all interact with visitors from when they first experience the club to how they are welcomed and integrated into the club system if they choose to join, again be it golf or bowls and in these testing times we need to continue to attract new members so please continue to have happy smiley faces both on and off the course and green.
: Volunteers continue to represent a huge benefit to the club so my continued thanks to all those who are stepping forward with their time and energy. This is your club and, together, we will continue to make it a success.
: Bar operation – The good and positive news is that the bar will re-open on July 4th but I need to impress on everyone that we can only open if we meet, and continue to meet, the government guidelines which will entail customers adhering to the social distancing requirements and the overall processes being covid safe. The bar experience will be markedly different to what everyone has been used to and to meet the requirements I need all customers to embrace the new procedures that we have to put in place and help the bar staff to make the processes run smoothly. The detailed process is as follows :
– entry will be via the entrance door next to the bowls green which will be propped open to avoid the need to touch handles etc
– on entry please sanitise your hands using the liquid gel in the foyer
– pass through the second door, turning right towards the bar and queue at 2 metre intervals – if there are already more than three people ahead of you please wait outside
– there will be no seating available in the bar area
– chairs have been placed in front of the bar to increase the distance between customer and bar staff – please avoid touching the bar top or chairs or, indeed, any surface.
– we are unable to use member bar cards due to them having to be handled by both staff and customer so the options are for members to forego their discount and pay with contactless cards or for the bar staff to use a club card held behind the bar for payment which the member then credits, using their contactless card, with the net cost of their drinks. This obviously doubles the transaction time which will be fine if the bar is not too busy but could cause a delay if busy. Obviously there is a benefit to the club if members choose to forego their discount but the choice lies with the member. To head off any obvious possible solutions being suggested I have already looked into a contactless discount card system but this would entail investment in a brand new till system costing many thousands which the club cannot afford at present.
– We are planning that all purchases within the bar will be by contactless card but cash will be taken if that is all that you have but any cash will not be handled by the bar staff and I am planning that no change will be given so have as close to the exact amount as possible please and be prepared to donate the surplus.
– once served please take your drinks either to the outdoor seating area in the bottom car park using the one way system within the bar area or to the tables in the restaurant area
– anyone choosing to use the tables in the restaurant area will have to provide their address and contact details which will form part of the track and trace protocols and be retained within the club for 21 days – I would encourage all to use the outdoor seating area whenever possible.
– Once you have enjoyed your drinks please, please, please, bring your glasses back to a table outside one of the emergency exits where the bar staff will collect them periodically.
– We are also planning to have bottled drinks being served from the starters hut which is now doubling up as an outdoor bar – the challenge here is that we do not have a second contactless terminal so payment will need to be made either with cash in such a way that the staff do not have to handle it with no change being given or in the bar using contactless card or one of the bar staff coming out but we have yet to test whether the machine will be within range of the wi-fi router.
– We have arranged for radio contact between the starters hut and bar so, if you would prefer or if it is busy, please give your drinks order to the team at the starters hut who will then pass it through to the bar for them to prepare your drinks and the bar team will confirm when it is ready for collection.
– Toilets can be used as follows – if you are seated in the restaurant area please access the toilets via the changing room doors and if you are seated outside please access the toilets via the external changing room doors. The bar toilets should not be used at all.
From the foregoing it should be evident that the process is far from ideal but it is the best that we can manage in the circumstances and if everyone remains positive and works with us I am sure that we will make it a success. We will alter the process if we identify issues with it.
Six more picnic tables have been ordered for the main customer seating in the bottom car park, some of which I now hope to collect on Friday to be installed by Saturday but members can also bring their own chairs if they choose to.
The planned creation of a raised deck is progressing and I hope to see this completed later in July.
The bar will operate on reduced hours and, initially, will be staffed by some of the volunteers at least until the working procedures are all ironed out – one obvious issue, is to meet the social distancing guidelines, that two people from different households cannot work together behind the bar but I am hoping that once the membership understand the challenges and are willing to help the bar staff by queuing in an orderly and patient manner and returning glasses etc we should be able to operate on one member of staff. – the bar staff will have to ensure that customers continue to adhere to the guidelines and I will continue to make it very clear to all that the bar can only remain open if the guidelines are followed.
For this weekend the bar will open at 11am and close late afternoon/early evening.
We have arranged for some 50 filled rolls which will be available from the bar and starters hut outside bar over the weekend and will use the experience with these this weekend in our future planning with regards to food.
With the social distancing guidelines reducing to 1 metre + there is now no need to avoid walking down between the club house and green when the bowlers are playing from the clubhouse to the bungalow and I would like to thank everyone for their consideration on this over the past few weeks.
Chairman, Ramsey Golf and Bowls Club