Roaring into 20…Part 2

This is the second part of our two part celebration of 20 years of RCS. To read part one, click here.

2020 brings extra celebration and reflection as this year marks the 20th anniversary of RCS! Last week, we introduced you to a few ways the world, and in turn, RCS has changed in the past twenty years and we’re back for more! Twenty years ago, it was all just a dream…..

RCS’ mission and vision has always been to be forward thinkers and evolve with the hospitality industry. At the time that RCS was founded, I felt that we as an industry needed to move faster, be more progressive, embrace technology and recognize a changing society. Most importantly, I wanted to help busy managers do their jobs more efficiently and provide another set of experienced hands for renovation projects, special events or staff/management training. That mission hasn’t changed but my world and that of RCS has grown beyond my imagination. I truly am living the dream. #grateful

Societal Changes

The way consumers spend their time and money has drastically changed in the past twenty years. And the way in which people work and live has evolved because of technology. Technology advancements has made the ‘nice to haves’ the ‘need to haves’. Without the technology advancements, companies like Uber, GrubHub, AirBnB, NetFlix, SeatGeek, and TripIt wouldn’t exist.

We used to print Google Maps to travel the world and we had to be organized and print directions for everything – it’s funny to look back on that. Thank goodness my Dad taught me how to read a map. We even drove across Scotland using a map back then – and didn’t even get lost once! Today, GPS is everywhere, and I’m spoiled just like the rest of society. I have hardly been to a movie outside of my home and I can now book and organize my travel in less than 10 minutes, when it used to take hours to prepare.

Because of changes like these, consumers and our customers’ and employees’ needs have changed. We compete with ‘gig-economy’ for employees and are now considering building co-working spaces at clubs, where in the past we discouraged work of any kind at a club.

Women’s Influence in the World

In my management career, I was one of the youngest general managers in the industry and one of a handful of women to reach that position. It has never been something I’ve thought much about. Today, the statistics on women’s influential role as industry leaders is staggering to some, but to me, it’s been a long time coming and perfectly natural. That’s who I have always been. It’s who my friends and colleagues are. However, it hasn’t always been commonplace in our industry, which is sometimes slow to embrace change.

As a manager in the early 90’s, I attended an industry meeting where the educator was discussing ways to protect Saturday morning tee times for men only. I walked out of the meeting that day so I wouldn’t say something that I may regret professionally, and that’s also the day I decided that I needed to start a business to serve the industry and help it evolve past that type of thinking.

The industry caught up to society this past year and the PGA launched their movement #InviteHer and Augusta National hosted the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Tournament. California is requiring women board members and now women general managers are commonplace.

I’m elated to see these changes!

The Experience Economy

Last year, I spoke at the Golf Inc Strategies Summit on the topic of the Experience Economy and how clubs can capitalize on the Experience Economy in order to combat member attrition and gain share of the up and coming generations. The reasons to join a club haven’t changed but the way they use the club and what want they need from their club has evolved for all the reasons above. Members are looking for quality experiences to share with friends in real time, not waiting a month or three to see the experiences in a newsletter with pictures.

  • We can acquire “stuff” more quickly on the internet, so all businesses have changed. Providing experiences gives every company a competitive edge and to do that, we must invest in not only facilities, but also technology and human capital. Employees create the experience and make it memorable.

  • Real time information, connection and sharing is the experience economy and because of technology, smarter employees, and new tools we can all deliver with some innovative thinking.

  • Delivering customer and employee experiences and then sharing those experiences through social media is like gold in the club industry.

Thank you for your support over the years, my friends. Everyone needs someone cheering for them and I know many of our customers have been on this journey with me and RCS and have helped us along the way. For that, I have nothing but sincere gratitude.

Whitney Reid Pennell, president of the RCS Hospitality Group (formerly Reid Consulting Services) is a celebrated management consultant, educator and speaker. RCS, the creators of the Food and Beverage Boot Camp™, specialize in operations consulting, strategic planning, food and beverage management, and training programs.

For more information, phone (623) 322-0773; or visit the RCS website at www.consultingrcs.com.

#20Years #communication #technology #strategicplanning #experienceeconomy #inviteHER #ANWA #society #gigeconomy #technologyshifts

Whitney Reid Pennell
 Founder & President

Whitney Reid Pennell is the founder and president of the award-winning RCS Hospitality Group (formerly Reid Consulting Services). She is a published author and widely praised seminar leader, with over 20 years of club operations management and consulting experience. 

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