A Private Restaurant Versus An Amenity

The Shadows restaurant is an amenity just as our golf courses, our clubhouses, gyms and other sports activities (tennis, pickle ball, etc.) are. In the most literal sense an amenity is a useful feature or facility or place that increases attractiveness or value, especially of a piece of real estate or a geographic location. Our restaurants, cafes, bistros and snack shops, just like our golf courses, tennis courts, clubhouses, etc --  are reasons why people buy here – they make up part of the value of our homes.

As an amenity our Food & Beverage operation (which includes the Shadows, the Montecito Café, the Santa Rosa Bistro, the South Course Snack Shop and our Catering Operation) isn’t a for-profit business like the Daily Grill, Cliff House, or Mario’s. Most all Sun Citys that have a golf course – have a Food & Beverage operation that is operated as an amenity.

What does that mean? How does a Food & Beverage Amenity differ from a private for profit restaurant?

  1. Multiple Venues – Our F&B operations must cater to the tastes and desires of all our residents. In fact our F&B team identified 4 different type of resident users last year and the F&B Operation caters to them at the Shadows, Montecito Café, Santa Rosa Bistro, Catering and the Snack Bar. Even at the Shadows alone – the venue is different things to different people – predominantly golfers during the day, general resident diners in the evening, a Happy Hour Crowd, a Live Music Dancing Crowd. In short, our F&B operation tries to be all things to all residents. Private for profit restaurants need serve only one type of clientele, using one menu in one location, on a repetitive basis.
  2. Lower Revenue - A good private for profit restaurant turns its tables several times in an evening. At Shadows and our other outlets -- residents tend to come in, sit down – talk with neighbors and friends and stay – they may eat and drink with friends and chat all night if that want. It’s an amenity – why not? But less turnover means less sales. Our F&B operation doesn’t ever ask a resident who occupies a table at any of our venues for 2 hours drinking a ginger ale -- to leave.
  3. Customer Base – Private for profit restaurants draw from everyone in their geographic area. The Shadows could draw in customers from the general public. But because we are an amenity, our first objective is to fulfill the needs and wants of our residents. And the Shadows is only one of our outlets – the Montecito Café is not open to the public.
  4. Seasonal Effect - Many of our residents are seasonal. While our F&B operation is an amenity all year around, it has to adjust for the off season. Many Restaurants in the Valley simply close completely during the off-season to reduce losses – ours F&B operation continues to provide services, at all our outlets, all year around.
  5. Senior Lifestyles - As seniors, our lifestyles are much broader than the general population. Family time, second homes and travel have all consumed a greater portion of a typical resident’s time. Limited time equates to limited sales.

Typically an amenity runs with the help of dues to offset expenses as they are in other departments throughout SCSH. Our F&B amenity is no different than our clubhouses, our gyms, our sports courts, our golf courses – by moving into SCSH, we've all agreed to share in the cost of their operation whether you or I actually personally use them or not.

To see how much of our monthly dues is spent on our various amenities, click here