The Ending

In my past three months interning at the Chevy Chase Club, I have learned an incredible amount from working with everyone at the club. Through this internship, I’ve learned everything from nightly reports to how to mow a green. I had the opportunity this summer to do rotations through any and all parts of the club. I chose to do rotations in Golf Maintenance, Golf Shop, Beverage, Banquettes, Housekeeping, Catering, Storeroom, and spend a day shadowing the General Manager and the Clubhouse Manager. By doing these rotations I was able to see how the club is run in each department and what the common problems each department has to handle.

In addition to doing these rotations I was put in charge of planning and executing the annual employee picnic as part of my intern project. This was an incredible experience and I was able to learn how to plan and manage more effectively. This year, I chose to do a nautical themed picnic. Through much planning and constant weather checking, the picnic went off without a hitch and with only a few raindrops. This was a great moment for me to see what all the planning led up to, and to see all the employees enjoying themselves.

Overall these past three months have taught me more about managing and leading than any of my past internships. Coming from the working in the kitchen for the past four years, it was great to see and experience how the front of house is run. Now that I have seen both sides of the restaurant, I am happy that I have made the decision to move from the back of house to the front of house. I look forward to my final year at Johnson & Wales University, with one more internship ahead of me, then off into the real world. I can only hope that I get as much out of my future internships as I got out of this one.

-Matthew Rodgers

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Pivotal

Stepping away from work on my last day was bittersweet. I am ready to take all that I have learned with me in my next steps, but I will miss the unexpected adventures of each day. I will miss the beautiful green grass and the big sunlit home with black shutters. There was a comfortable confidence in knowing the ins and outs of the Dive Inn, and an exciting challenge of finding new and better ways of doing things. Even on my last day, we discovered a better way to set up our stations in the morning. I also learned about how all the inventory numbers are calculated and analyzed. Before saying my goodbyes in the kitchen, I gathered some great recipes from the pastry chef, who I know I can always go to with questions in the future. From the day I started to moment I left, I was constantly learning.

With a word, this summer at Army Navy Country Club was pivotal. Countless doors of opportunity have been opened in all different directions. There are completely new paths for my life that are now accessible. With the knowledge and experience that I have gained, I walk with confidence and eagerness for more. Hospitality is crazy yet captivating. Consuming yet liberating. As I give of myself more and more to the unconditional service to others, I do not feel emptied but rather filled. Joy always seems to find a place in my work. I have grown in self-knowledge about both my strengths and weaknesses. While building on all that I have, I can also grow in the areas I struggle in. With this realization, I can now move forward with a determined purpose and strive to accomplish even greater things.

This was a pivotal time for Army Navy, the Dive Inn, my career, and myself.

-Jackie Herrick

Today’s Only Sunday?

It’s hard to believe that it has only been a week since the CCSDA swim meet that we hosted at Army Navy Country Club. So many things has gone on since Monday that it feels like the Championship swim meet was months ago. Monday morning started at 3:30am when I woke up to get ready for work. I knew all the work that was ahead of us the next few days, and the drive to work made me even more anxious. Because of the hours of preparation that we put in to ensure we were ready for the swim meet, everything went smoothly. As zone captain of the kitchen for both days of CCSDA, I had to make sure each item that left the kitchen was correct, and came out in an orderly fashion. Little did I realize, time was no issue as we sent out the majority of our orders in less than a minute. The only thing that slowed us down was the fryer, but we simply did not have enough frying baskets to keep up with the quantity of orders coming through. Thankfully, we caught up quick when chicken tenders from the main kitchen were brought to us so we could get out all the orders quicker.

I came in on Wednesday looking forward to a more relaxed day after the two crazy days we had just overcome. However, it was time to do inventory in the clubhouse. We had a long day of organizing and counting ahead of us. Wednesday and Thursday we were in and out of the freezer, and in storage moving heavy objects and counting every item we had. By the time the weekend rolled around, I was extremely tired and worn out. Tonight I finished the crazy week working the fryer in the main kitchen. This required a lot of attention because it is not something I am very used to. We worked really hard to keep up with all the orders, and everything went very well. It was nerve-racking, but the compliments we received were extremely satisfying.

I never thought I could accomplish so much in one week, and looking back on the week makes me wonder how I got it all done. As a new week begins, a night of good rest is all I need before I head back to work and start the whole process again.

-Amanda Godby

A New Hire

This past week we had an addition to the banquet department. I met this new staff member on her second day of work and from when I first met her I knew exactly what needed to be done- she had to be trained. She constantly had a smile on her face and was so excited and eager to learn.

Training is so incredibly important. It is key to any position no matter what it is. If you are not properly trained, how are you supposed to know right from wrong. I set her up with another employee to shadow and learn from. I made sure that she was learning and being trained from someone who was properly trained and knew all the ins and outs of banquets. I could see how hard she was working to learn and pick up on everything. The first day I met her she was working with me on a served meal for 350 guests. Many employees were holding three plates at the same time. She came up to me and asked me to show her. I showed her the proper way to hold three plates so that none of the plates/food were touching. I made sure that she felt comfortable holding three and had her practice walking around in the back before going out on the floor. Throughout the night I was always telling her great job, keep up the good work, etc. I want to keep her motivated. I also told her that her excitement and eagerness to learn has to continue. She is doing a great job and she has to keep it up. I do not want her getting to the point where she feels like she knows everything and can now slack off and go downhill. We talked about how you can learn something new everyday. She told me that she is definitely going to keep it up and she is ready to continue to learn and continue to grow.
Kelly

Meaning to Hard Work

The sun was still asleep as I awoke to my alarm at 3:45am. I quickly sprang out of bed and got ready for work—it was the first day of CCSDA Swim Champs. I made a quick breakfast and stopped by Dunkin Donuts for a large iced coffee. Just as shocking as the caffeine in my system, was the fact that there was a line at 5am. After pausing in amazement, this made me think. “Now, what would be so worthwhile to motivate people to be up this early in the morning to head to their jobs? …Why am I at Dunkin Donuts at 5am?”

Pulling through the gates of Army Navy Drive, I saw the sun peak over the horizon. The day began with a stack of dishes in the sink. In consistency with the rest of the morning, this was atypical. I would never leave until the sinks are spotless when closing. The night before this big day however, one of the sinks was backed up. We had stayed at the Dive Inn late to prepare and clean as much as we could. The dishes and many other tasks remained in the morning. With several days of planning, we knew exactly what we needed to accomplish.

Each team member had a specific role that aligned with his or her talents. All of our strengths worked together to achieve incredible efficiency. The interns were captains of the three major “zones” and relayed steady communication. Zone A consisted of the register, beverages, and ice cream. This intern kept the flow of members and tickets under control. The second intern carried the weight as the single voice that directed all activity in the kitchen and expediting in Zone B. I then oversaw Zone C: sanitation, overall organization, and stock levels. In maintaining a neat and prepared environment, I facilitated clear thinking for those in the kitchen and ensured that our standards for cleanliness and quality of service remained high.

Orders went out in less than 4 minutes—even record times of 47 seconds. Our efficiency pleasingly struck many members. As the line snaked through the Dive Inn, our work was still under control while we served hundreds. Our service was complimented to the extent that the General Manager was asked if Army Navy would host CCSDA every year.

This is why I was at Dunkin Donuts at 5am. All of the preparation, long hours, and lack of sleep was all worthwhile to achieve the success that we were so driven to reach. Without that last stretch, our hard work would have been meaningless. Following through to the end made it possible for Army Navy to shine in front of 14 other clubs while providing the best service to its members and all those who visited.

-Jackie Herrick

CCSDA: The Swim Meet of Swim Meets

It has been a crazy few days here at Army Navy, due to the CCSDA championship swim meet, which we had the pleasure of hosting this year. All summer we have been preparing for this meet, as this was the going to be the ultimate test of our ability to work together as we helped run the Dive Inn for our club, and 13 other country club swim teams from the area. In order to help minimize the stress of our line, we minimized the menu to just our large ticket items, as well as changed our usual member number system to a system run on the purchase of tickets from the banquet staff.

Leading up to the event, we scheduled our whole staff from 6 am to whenever the meet ended for 2 days, which ended up giving us all two very long days. We spent the entire night before changing our food stock from our full menu to just the items needed for the big ticket items selected, so we would not run out of anything and we would essentially have at least 3 backups at every station. We also split up the team into a few zones to make everything more organized and keep people in certain areas and not running around frantically.

I was in charge of the “money in” zone, which incorporated taking orders, placing the orders, and getting drinks for the customers. It was not this simple, as I had to completely familiarize myself with a new system of payment and putting orders through. Although at first the menu seemed very large, after putting in the same member number every order so we could keep track of how much we were selling, and having to wait until the final item sent to the kitchen to know how much the cost was, I very quickly began to memorize everything and know the exact amount before the ticket even printed. Not only did I challenge myself to learn it early on, I challenged myself to make it into something fun, which was definitely visible to members as they began to laugh with me when I would ask for their entire ticket booklet that they just purchased a few moments earlier.

Although it sounds like an easy job, I set the pace for the kitchen, and made sure that people were satisfied from the moment they ordered until the few seconds later that they picked up their meal. Yes, I do mean seconds; our ticket times were almost always under a minute. We had most of our items pre made, so when a ticket printed on the line they really just had to quickly heat it up, put it on the burger or sandwich set and send it out. The only challenge we encountered was during a lunch break that we did not know about, and we found ourselves very behind on chicken tenders due to our fryer being at complete capacity. We were able to get an abundance of tenders brought down from the clubhouse, and still keep the tickets with tenders on them under 5 min from the busiest time of day.

Throughout the day, some of our employees would jump on the computer for a minute or two, and there was rarely a time that they would be able to successfully take the orders without asking me or one of my other zone members for math help, which was a nice pat on the back for us because we knew we had mastered a task that seemed easy to everyone else but took more focus than they had expected. However, I am very proud of the entire staff for successfully running an amazing food operation that took an extreme amount of teamwork, and coming together to form a well oiled machine that successfully pulled off an extremely difficult two days!

–Abby Raichek

Food and Beverage Management Boot Camp

This past Tuesday ANCC hosted a food and beverage management boot camp. Managers and interns from surrounding country clubs attended to learn more about menu development, sales/revenue, training staff, events and marketing. The topic that made the most impact on me was effective ways to train staff. From the boot camp I learned that correctly training staff on how to set up a room, converse with members and where items are located within the facility is crucial. Every staff member, whether they are a manager or a server, needs to know how to complete tasks efficiently and effectively to help ensure success. Therefore, official procedures and programs need to be put in place to train new staff members. One suggestion made during the boot camp was to create a new employee scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt would include items located around the club house to help staff members learn the location for each item. Another suggestion was to train employees on how to train new employees. For example, a server who works hard, completes tasks correctly, shows up on time, and converses well with members would be an ideal employee to train others. Having a new employee follow this server would be beneficial as they would learn how to correctly perform their job. In order for any training to be successful though, there needs to be constant feedback. During the boot camp it was mentioned, “you can train, but without reinforcement training is useless.” Feedback allows for growth and improvement as it helps employees know what they are doing correctly and what they need to work on.

Attending this boot camp has given me a plethora of new ideas and knowledge that I hope to expand through the rest of my internship experience at ANCC and further schooling. I look forward to attempting to create more suggestions on how to effectively train new staff members.
– Lauren