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Club Grub Magazine

Edition 5, Letter from the Editor: 

Have you ever been presented with a request to describe, in detail, why you like something? Movie? TV Show? Book? If you’re like us, the answer might devolve into a list of clichés or hyperbole. What starts with “I just do” eventually turns into a poor Roger Ebert impression. Now, have you been asked to describe why you like a particular dish? Of course! Just like history’s most renowned film critic, you have the language and training to describe what you enjoy or dislike about the food on your plate. Often times, the patrons you are serving do not.

Take this recent article in New York Times Magazine from Samin Nosrat. “Putting language to flavor isn’t easy, because we’re rarely taught that it matters. As children, we learn the names of all sorts of shapes, colors and sounds. But when it comes to the way things smell or taste, the only language we ever hear is qualitative — good and bad, yummy and yucky, delicious and disgusting.”

Talking with chefs, we’ve learned this isn’t the only challenge when listening to feedback. The fact is, chefs have taken on a role of educator. You may not have the time to teach your members how to master the language of flavor and connect that language to their taste buds, but you do have the time to help them understand what it really takes to put the food they’re looking for on the table.

More than ever, club chefs must open these lines of communication in order to run a successful operation. As CMC and Executive Chef Gerald Ford puts it, “Much like training my team on how to prepare the food, I get to train the membership on what it takes to source, prepare and serve the quality food they enjoy on property.”

Moving into 2019, this transparency and education will continue to be imperative to your success. To learn how SYSCO and VGM Club can help you connect your members to the products they’re looking for, contact us today.


Edition 4, Letter from the Editor:

A joke was circulating on social media the other day. It wryly posed the question, “Hey do you guys know if there are multiple ways to do BBQ, or is there just one universally accepted way?”

We will admit. We chuckled. The only universally accepted thing about BBQ these days is that there are virtually hundreds of different ways to BBQ anything.

Some will argue there is only one right way, the traditional Carolina way. We are not here to dispute that. At the end of the day, whether you like a light glaze over a full-bodied sauce, a nut wood over a fruit wood, or Kansas City BBQ over Carolina BBQ, as long as its slow cooked over a wood fire, you will not hear us complaining. In fact, many people expect these options on the menu regardless of your geographical location. BBQ is exploding in popularity. No kidding, right?

This reminds us of our approach to serving the VGM Club community. Dozens of different factors play an integral role in how a club utilizes VGM Club’s services. Your club has the opportunity to pick and choose what contracts and programs work the best for you. We would not want it any other way.

It is important that we continuously make new opportunities known to your purchasing department. Because, similar to BBQ, finding a new approach that might fit well within your club (or palate) is a savory reward.

To learn how to take advantage of all the programs VGM Club has to offer, visit www.vgmclub.com or call us at 800-363-5480.


Edition 3, Letter from the Editor:

VGM Club connects you to the experts, connects you to your audience, and becomes the community where ideas are stored, shared and cultivated. Members across the country have made it clear that a place to share ideas is vital. We agree. But growing a community is challenging, and VGM Club wants to help.

How are we doing that?

We assist existing communities:

In the chef community, our participation has just begun. Recently on an episode of Club Cents, we talked with Laura Herman, a member of the Chicago Chef Association, a community dedicated to sharing ideas, knowledge, experiences and culinary adventures. She spoke at length about how this community is instrumental in her continued education. We started assisting with this organization in 2016, and we look forward to building on the success we have had in Chicago with local club chef organizations around the country.

Nationally, we have stepped up our participation with Chef to Chef as well. While in Seattle for 2018’s Chef to Chef Conference, we met many talented chefs, and it was clear how important this conference was for the attendees to share ideas. We did our best to share our own ideas in our sponsored education session titled Building Your Brand: Create. Grow. Maintain.

In our session, we encouraged the chefs in attendance to join the Instagram world because it was the friendliest club chef social media outlet. This is no foreign concept for club chefs, and we talked with Laura about that as well.

We amplify your voice to reach your audience:

During our interview with Laura, she brought up using hashtags on Instagram. A simple way to reach and share with your audience. Her hashtag #CountryClubDesserts is available for all pastry chefs to participate in. Are you a pastry chef currently on Instagram? Start using the hashtag to share with others across the country!

We provide a platform to share ideas with your counterparts:

Club Cents and Club Grub Magazine are each a platform we have created to communicate with the club chef community. We want to continue to grow both of these platforms, and readers like you are the key. Help us make both better by reaching out to us. We want to hear from you. To learn more about how we can help, contact VGM Club at 800-363-5480.


Edition 2, Letter from the Editor:

Data. It is all around us and yet underutilized. It is critical for success but far too often poorly managed. Who has a handle on this? Recently, we spoke with Union Club of Cleveland General Manager Lawrence McFadden, CMC about food trends. He put us on our heels when he brought up data.

“Members have opinions and preferences, but those do not always equal a problem or need to be addressed immediately. However, they must be measured using accurate data. Otherwise, it just becomes your opinion against theirs. Food and beverage is an extremely powerful emotion. Everyone has an opinion.”

One way Lawrence compiles this data is by surveying, “We do not ask you if it is too salty or too sweet, we ask, ‘Was this an event you would come back to?’ ‘Did this fit your lifestyle?’ ‘Did you learn something?’ ‘Did it make you feel good being at this experience?’ ‘Would you share this with friends, family or colleagues?’”

As it turns out, not only does Lawrence have an effective strategy to implement more data, we do too. Using VGM Club’s 104,527 opportunities from more than 450 brands and 70 manufacturers, we are able to dig into the data as well. Our data analysts can perform line item opportunity reports that show you the best possible pricing available under our program.

Accumulate survey answers from your members. Ask us to dig through the opportunities for you. Data is right at your fingertips. You just have to ask! To learn more about requesting these opportunity reports, contact VGM Club at 800-363-5480.


Edition 1, Letter from the Editor:

Welcome to VGM Club’s newest venture, Club Grub Magazine. We wanted to create a magazine that helped your club better understand the power of your VGM Club membership within your food and beverage operation.

We teamed up with SYSCO and SYSCO Foodie to begin offering an eMagazine exclusively for the club world; use it to spark your creativity, utilize the VGM Club and SYSCO partnership and find solutions to stretch your budget further.

Dive into highlights from Club Cents on our “Inside the Episode” Section within the eMagazine. Become engaged with the VGM Club chef community by tuning into the Club Cents podcast.

Tune in, or read up, and enjoy this first edition. Most importantly, we hope you are off to a great start in 2018.