Master Planning is about finding and unlocking potential by establishing a blueprint for a Club to grow.  Developing a master plan for a Club is not only about the bricks and mortar, but how to build the premises to cater for constant growth, demographic change and investment returns.

Every Club needs a sustainable point of difference to set them apart from their competition with premises designed to cater for growth. Paynter Dixon is a company equipped to understand how to combine all the elements necessary to master plan, design and build a successful Club.

It starts with understanding what members and guests want to achieve, establishing what the market for growth is, what the physical and financial limitations are and working with all stake holders to achieve a master plan which can be staged to suit these outcomes. This process ensures that you have a clear path for the future in the most efficient way.

A master plan includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals for a Club’s patronage, economy, transportation, community facilities, and land use. A good master plan is based on surveys, planning initiatives, existing development, physical characteristics, and social and economic conditions.

A good place to begin is with a feasibility study, this is an objective review of available options for development. It whether the chosen site is suitable for the intended function.  This process builds on the information collected and analysis developed during the scoping phase.

Pubs have always taken food more seriously than Clubs, they have a reputation for quality food and facilities that are comfortable and attractive to a broad demographic from tradesmen to families through to millennials on a night out.

Clubs, on the other hand, have grown out of being meeting places for groups – returned service personnel, bowlers, golfers and other community groups. Many Clubs have grown out of initial facilities that comprise large imposing halls and evolved over time with extensions that responded to an immediate need and resulted in large box-shaped buildings that were internally focused.

It’s fair to say that Clubs have moved well beyond this phase and are a lot more outward looking these days.  But should Clubs be looking to emulate the Pub formula for success?

Yes and no.  Clubs and Pubs each have a different charter and different values. For Clubs, it is within their values that lies the mountain of value. They are genuinely community-focused organisations – they need to keep doing what they do best and that is connecting with the community.

However, there needs to be acknowledgement that to bridge the gap and re-establish Club venues in our communities as venues of choice, they must have appeal beyond the traditional means. This is going to take some change.

Luckily, to appeal more broadly is not that complicated and there are some lessons to be learnt from Pubs.  Good design is important, and it should be unique.  Demographic awareness needs to be considered and incorporated in a way that allows for a multitude of users.

A Club needs to be segmented in such a way that families with kids feel welcomed; groups of millennials feel the ambiance; and the old guard don’t feel alienated. But instead, everyone feels an increased sense of ownership over their more diversified (and financially secure) community focused Club.

Clubs also need to acknowledge food as number one. Yes, revenue from gaming is still at the top for most Clubs and will be for some time, but it is food that can drive a core point of difference to competing venues.

Clubs need to create their own food by controlling the produce, the price point and brand, they need to focus on food and leverage it through their marketing.

Success stories within the industry tell the story that venues that meet the needs of the demographic with great food and lifestyle relevant offerings and great branding are closing the gap.

The Club industry needs to reflect individually and collectively on how to consider disrupting their hospitality offering as Uber did to the taxi industry.  The Club industry’s community-focused approach, with an underlying charter for the greater good, and image to match, is the way to master planning the future.

Maria​ Scott
Marketing Manager  |
Paynter Dixon Constructions Pty Limited


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M 0407077220
Level 2, 2 Richardson Place, Riverside Corporate Park, North Ryde, Sydney 211