“Anyone going to Kids’ Night tonight?” asks Lara, a lawyer. Her husband is taking night classes for grad school, so she will be flying solo with her two kids.
“Chris, Parker and I will be there … unless this baby comes early!” adds Lindsey, a teacher. She and her growing family are in.
“Tom has to work late, but my crew and I will be there. Can’t wait to see you all there!” That’s Mandy, an orthopedic doctor. She and her three kids will be at dinner.
“We’re in.” That’s Elaine. She, Dave and their two little ones will join us.
Tonight we have eight adults at the table; behind us are booths filled with our 10 children, ages seven months to seven years. Luckily, happy hour wine prices are still available, so we order our drinks first and then food for the kids.
Nearby a craft table is set up where a sweet woman entertains our wound-up kiddos. The staff happily puts Wild Kratts (a household favorite) on the TV and the weekly chaos ensues. There’s running, screaming, milk-spilling, and, inevitably, some crying.
We are not at Silver Diner. We are at our Country Club. We are members.
The New Face of Private
b. It’s about “The 4 C’s”
Community – An old adage, but we need to feel like we belong. Before we joined, the first thing I asked my friends who were members was, “is it snobby or pretentious?” I don’t want to raise bratty kids. We want to feel welcome and like the people around us. Give u ways – other than golf – to be social. (Programming for the whole family – I will get to that in a minute)
Convenience – Young couples simply don’t have time. We already feel guilty about both parents working and putting our kids in daycare. Make it easy on us.
Communication – Gone are the days of monthly printed newsletters. Email me, text me, put it on Facebook and make it relevant. Make it about me and my kids. That’s what I care about. That’s what matters.
b. Programs beyond the aforementioned “Kids’ Night” are crucial. The nicer you are to our kids, the more often we will come, and the more we will eat and drink. Host the popular “Daddy Daughter“ “Donuts with Dad,” and include mom too with events like “Mommy and Me Princess Tea,” or “Mommy and Me Pirates and Pizza.” Holiday celebrations are obvious; “Easter Bunny” and “Santa Brunch” go a long way in getting me to overpay for food, fun and a chance to get an adorable photo posted to social media. (Which, by the way, helps you too!)
In review, maybe it’s the kids who hold the true buying power! Fast forward to next Wednesday when I pick up my boys from daycare. I am running late from a long meeting, quickly hang up a work call and text Shawn to meet me at the club. Everyone’s already there and I definitely need a glass of wine. After the boys are buckled in, I tell my three-year-old that we are going to the club:
“Are my friends coming mommy?” he asks. Yep, mine too, I thought smiling.
“Papa’s club or my club?” Your club, little buddy.
Yes, this is definitely not your papa’s country club.
Meet Our Marketing Buff
Emily Clark, Vice President of Marketing