Ash Brook Golf Course: a new normal for golf courses

This week, we would like to highlight the experience of SeaStrawsCo client Ash Brook Golf Course, a Scotch Plains, NJ-based clubhouse offering fun golf courses for people of all skill levels and delicious meals at rotisserie style restaurant The Tavern at Ash Brook.” John Di Meglio, National Food and Beverage Director at Kemper Sports, shared with us how Ash Brook Golf Course was affected by the pandemic and what challenges their establishment faces in reopening their doors. 

Hospitality businesses are still recovering from the impact of temporary closures due to COVID-19 pandemic. Loss in revenue and new safety guidelines posed extensive challenges to thousands of foodservice businesses. “The pandemic has caused a tremendous amount of disruption to not only our business but the food service business as a whole,” shared John, adding: “Operating our facilities with limited revenue streams compared to prior history has caused loss of jobs and a complete restructuring of our operating model.” After an uneasy period of temporary closure, Ash Brook Golf Course reopened their doors and are now back at accommodating their guests with safety guidelines in place. 

Major changes in operations were implemented by businesses in the hospitality industry to ensure safety of their guests and employees. Due to social distancing restrictions, restaurants were forced to come up with alternatives to indoor dining and experiment with takeout options. John shared that the largest modification to the The Tavern at Ash Brook” operations was “aggressively exploring the take-out and delivery segment.” The golf course setting allowed the restaurant to be “already well positioned for outdoor dining.” “However taking advantage of take-out delivery and off-premise were areas that we had previously explored but were forced to make part of our every day operating plan,” says John. 

Although the recent state official order eased restrictions on quasi-indoor dining, offering guests a traditional dining room experience is still not a feasible option. Ash Brook Golf Course continues serving their patrons outdoors. “Our restaurant has a large patio capacity and floor to ceiling collapsible doors to open to the outdoors so that was part of our structure from the beginning,” describes John.  

Foodservice businesses continue looking for ways to enhance their takeout dining experience in a safe, yet sustainable, way. John shared that SeaStrawsCo products helped Ash Brook Golf Course in the process of transition to the new dining style. In his feedback John added: “We have utilized SeaStraws as value add to our take out programming. Being able to offer off-premise adult beverages was something that was not possible to the pandemic so bundling a great sustainable, cool looking product to a packaged cocktails program we have been able to utilize that as a differentiator in the market.”

Before quarantine restrictions in place, “The Tavern at Ash Brook,” in partnership with SeaStrawsCo, has offered its guests steel straws with a cocktail order. According to John, Ash Brook Golf Course guests found that SeaStraws “are striking, can enhance the flavors of a drink if chilled prior to use and the packaging is unique.” 

Our SeaTeam is very happy to receive such feedback and to be helpful to our partners in shifting to the new mode of operation. Check out more of our to-go ware options and stylish single use paper straws here. Transition your business to take-out in a sustainable way with SeaProducts and our new to-go box options!

written by Kathrine Serebrianski

This article first appeared in our Recurrent email newsletter on July 29, 2020. To subscribe to Recurrent and receive a story from our sustainable hospitality community every Wednesday, click here.

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