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September 2020

Desert Mountain Never Forgets its Members or Cake

By Steve Eubanks

Clubs have always been the center of celebrations. Birthday parties, anniversary dinners, graduation gatherings, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July: the mantra “Let’s go to the club” has always been part of the special-events vernacular.

But COVID-19 quashed all that, at least for a good chunk of 2020. So clubs adapted, coming up with innovative ways to service their members and guests without the benefit of spring receptions or summer parties.
Desert Mountain, one of the premier clubs in Arizona, launched a special program to make sure the membership knew that they weren’t forgotten on their special days.

“Desert Mountain’s cake delivery service started in the midst of the COVID-19 chaos,” said the club’s director of events and catering, Kathleen Glenn. “When the shelter-in-place orders were first issued in Arizona, all scheduled club events were cancelled. Desert Mountain’s food and beverage team sprang into action to brainstorm on how they could try to bring positivity and cheer to members.

“During normal times, members call the catering team to plan a beautiful experience to celebrate birthdays and/or anniversaries with their friends and family. Thus the idea of the cakes was born. Members with milestones (30, 40, 50, and so on) birthdays or anniversaries now receive a complimentary cake delivered to their Desert Mountain home.
 
“In advance of each delivery, members are called and asked if they were going to be at home on their special day. Once affirmed, catering would complete a ‘special cake’ order form and send it to the pastry chef.

“On the designated day, the pastry team creates the cake, catering picks it up and delivers it straight to the member’s door. In compliance with CDC recommendations, the delivery person wears gloves and the cake is placed in a bag on the member’s front doorstep, followed by a text message stating that the cake had been delivered.”

In the first two months of the program, 24 cakes were created and delivered. The members loved it so much that some variation of the program will continue into the future, even after operations return to normal and people return to the clubs for their special outings and events. 

According to Glenn: “One happy resident, upon receipt of his 70th birthday cake, said: ‘I just wanted to pass along my thanks to all of you at Desert Mountain for your thoughtfulness and to our catering staff for organizing this nice gift. The cake, by the way, is very delicious.’” 

Those high-touch moments might have been born from a crisis, but they make good business sense for a much longer term.

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