The Saskatoon Club, located in the heart of downtown Saskatoon, has been in business since 1907!

The Saskatoon Club is primarily a business club offering networking, meeting space and social events along with a gym and squash courts to round out the member experience. The Club has experienced rapid growth recently, increasing from 460 members pre-pandemic to approximately 1,200 member accounts today, with 600 full paying members. This has led to significant revenue growth and has created some challenges along the way.

Foodbuy spoke with Sarah Buettner, The Saskatoon Club’s Executive Director, to understand this growth curve and the challenges that lie ahead.

Buettner outlined the Club’s growth, “We’ve seen significant growth. Our capital assets are well over seven million dollars, and we are targeting 10 million. We have moved from $900,000 to $2.5 million in food and beverage revenues in just a couple of years. We’re the only business club in the province, and we have been able to tap into that. However, we say we’re a professional social club, so we’re a business/social club, we try to cater to both.”

We asked what is driving this growth “We have seen a shift in our membership” said Buettner. “The average age of members coming in right now is between 38 and 40 years old. It is much more of a young person’s club today and that has allowed us to rejuvenate The Club.”

The Saskatoon Club has undergone massive renovations. In 2018, The Club orchestrated a $4.5 million renovation project.  Over the past two years, they have added close to $3 million in renovations and have another $11 million planned out over the next four years.

Buettner explains why they’ve focused on renovation and rejuvenation. “To me, it’s remarkable that your grandfather’s generation had five friends and our granddaughters’ generation has 500 friends. The millennials and Gen Zs will go to their favorite restaurant only three times a year, because they need different experiences. Clubs historically have maintained the same appearance and offering and they developed prestige from this consistency. Whereas we want to keep it fresh, engaging and exciting every day, while maintaining our historical roots and traditions.”

We asked Buettner what challenges this level of growth can add to the management of The Club. “All eyes are on the numbers now. From a management perspective, we are really focused on our systems. We say you either sink to the level of your systems, or you rise to your goals.”

“We are watching expenses like everyone is”. As an example, The Club’s property taxes have gone up by $80,000, insurance has gone up by $30,000. As well, the minimum wage has jumped rapidly in Saskatoon all while food costs skyrocket. Buttner says “The Club is choosing to absorb costs operationally to add more value for our members”.

Buettner indicated that Foodbuy plays a large role helping them contain rising costs, but to her it’s more about the overall relationship. “We hired our executive chef from the US and I asked her who she wanted to partner with. She called people from around North America and came back with four GPO recommendations. The one that kept coming up was Foodbuy so we made the move. We like the support we receive. I say if people don’t forget about us, we don’t forget about them.”

We asked what the priorities for The Club are in 2024. Buettner said, “Our first goal is the pursuit of excellence in all areas and determining what that looks like and then systemizing it. We remind the team, ‘we’re building your granddaughter’s club’.”

We also want to build on our team’s overall success. “I think that keeping our staff engaged and retaining them is a big part of it. We pay more and we have a full benefit plan. Protecting the team at all costs is key for us.”


This is an excerpt from the Foodbuy 2024 Golf Club and Leisure Guide. To read the guide, click here.

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