Thursday, June 7, 2012


After three months of fighting and writing, the party last Sunday was a welcome relief: good times with good people. It was such an enjoyable afternoon (until the wind started up) that it's been hard for me to gin up the edge needed to write this blog.

To the rescue comes an anonymous letter from a resident who wonders, like so many, how an operation that is subsidized by each resident to the tune of $425 per year (including 18% gratuity) can continue to lose money on a yearly basis?

It starts with minimums. During my research of the last few months I came across an article regarding minimums at country clubs, yacht clubs, golf clubs and the like. The concensus of managers of these clubs, many very high end, is that members just plain hate minimums, whether they are $25 or $125.

They tend to use them at the end of the month and expect outstanding service and and of course good food, for their money. In fact, many clubs are forgoing minimums altogether. They'd rather have happy diners than disgruntled members.

At Farmington Woods we're not only are asked to keep this money losing operation alive with our minimums, but are required to dress as golfers if we happen to be a male diner. Think I'm kidding?

Look up the dress code for the club, changed in 2007 to say that men must wear "golf attire" when using the clubhouse. So, if you're not a golfer, not only do you get to support a course that you don't use, but you are required to wear a golf "costume" while supporting it's clubhouse. 

What I can't figure out is which pair of "whale pants" to wear while dining and whether to wear a "collared shirt" as required or try to slip by with one of those mock collars made popular by Tiger Woods?

Boy, it sure doesn't take much to get me back in the writing groove. But I'll let my anonymous author relate an experience that says lots about why people hate minimums, especially at Farmington Woods.

May 31, 2012

It was brought up at one of the bond meetings about the staggering amount of residents who do not use their $30 a month fee at the restaurant.  Perhaps the following will be one explanation.

Yesterday, a resident in the “younger demographic” called from her car (I was with her) to the restaurant at 2:50 pm on speakerphone.  Here is how the conversation went:

  1. Long period of ringing, followed by a dropped telephone onto a hard surface.
  2. Then, “Farmington woods”.  When she asked if this was indeed the restaurant, said younger resident was told yes.  No sorry for the dropped phone, no ID of who answered the phone, no explanation of why no “Farmington woods restaurant” in the greeting.
  3. Said resident asked if she could place an order for a turkey club for pickup.  She was told no, it was month end and not allowed.  She was then told they were “absolutely swamped” and she would have to come into the restaurant to place her order.  We were at the front gate, so she drove on over.  Keep in mind the time of 2:50 pm. 
  4. In the parking lot were a total of four cars.  FOUR CARS.  She went inside and discovered that the DR was empty, the patio was empty, the bar was empty, and one table in the pub had people done with sandwiches and ready to leave.
  5. No functions upstairs.
  6. She placed her order and was told to wait at the bar.  She chose to return to her car for the ten minutes it took for the sandwich to be made.  Then she returned to pick it up.

Yes, it is month end, and understandable if the call was made during the busy time of dinner and after golf, or if there actually were diners utilizing the restaurant.  But it wasn’t.  It was 2:50 pm when the call was made.  The club was, for all intents and purposes, empty.  The parking lot contained 4 cars.

No apology was made for the dropped phone, nor the improper way it was answered, nor the identity of the receiver offered.

Under these circumstances the order for one turkey club could have been taken.  Instead, you end up with one very unhappy younger resident whose comment to me was “no wonder the restaurant is underused, I really can’t be bothered again”. 

Can you make it any more difficult to get a turkey club from an empty restaurant just because it is month end? 

Comments? You're welcome to email me at

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