At the Special General Meeting we held an open members forum to ask questions of the committee and executives. Below is a summary of those questions and answers.
1. Why didn’t you offer EFTPOS facilities in the member’s bars downstairs at Mornington on Mornington Cup Day?
We are planning to install an EFTPOS machine in the members’ area for major race days at Mornington. Our sales systems at Mornington are currently being upgraded, which will allow for “tap and go” transactions and much faster credit card transactions.
2. What is the plan for Ladbrokes Park (Sandown) and when do you expect to make a decision?
We are in a fortunate position as we own all of the land around the race course at Ladbrokes Park. The club has been developing a masterplan strategy over the past year, which we are currently working on with the State Government and key stakeholders. There are a number of potential options for Ladbrokes Park, and we will share our preferred vision with members once we have all relevant input. Racing at Sandown will still continue in the foreseeable future.
3. When will you be making a decision on whether to re-build the Terrance Whitaker Grandstand (the stand previously in the gap area)?
Similar to Sandown, we have a Caulfield masterplan process we are working on with the State Government and key stakeholders. We are absolutely committed to providing world-class facilities at Caulfield, and we are very excited about these plans. We will share more information about this shortly with our members.
4. The food in the Bernborough Restaurant needs improvement, what are you doing about it?
We believe the quality of food at Caulfield has lifted significantly over the past two years, with dining numbers and overall feedback supporting this. However, we strive to continually exceed expectations and our General Manager of Food and Beverage has been notified of this feedback and will conduct a review specifically on the Bernborough Restaurant to see where we can improve.
5. Has the MRC opened a bakery in which it has a 50% share in and if so, why?
The MRC is proud to announce that our new food venture, Gontran Cherrier, is now open on Smith Street, Collingwood!
Gontran Cherrier is a world-famous French boulangerie and café that adds to the MRC’s vision to be one of the best food providers in Melbourne, both on race days and in all our other venues.
Furthermore, this partnership with Gontran Cherrier, a renowned Parisian baker who has lent his name to a number of bakeries around the world, provides another diverse income stream that we can reinvest into racing.
This new and delicious business will also see our racing and leisure venues supplied with Gontran Cherrier’s famous croissants, baguettes and sweet treats.
As an introductory offer, for the next three months MRC members can enjoy significant discounts in both the boulangerie and café with 20% off take-away items and 10% off the dine-in menu by simply showing your Membership Card at the time of sale (limit of four items per transaction).
6. When will the new members’ loyalty/rewards program be rolled out to Mornington and Ladbrokes Park (Sandown)?
We launched phase 1 of the new rewards program in February 2016 at Caulfield. Now it is successfully implemented, we will introduce it to both Mornington and Ladbrokes Park from next season.
7. There is less information in the Annual Report than there used to be, why is this? Also why isn’t it mailed out to members?
We are happy to include more information on our major initiatives and we’ll ensure we include more information this season. Our Annual Report is fully audited and signed off by KPMG and all of the key financial information is included. On accessing the Annual Report, we have printed copies available at the AGM, plus the full report is loaded on our website as soon as it is signed off by the auditors, and members can request a copy to be posted to them. We will endeavour to have the Annual Report completed and available to members well in advance of the AGM this year to allow questions and discussion to take place.
8. Can you deliver Mornington race books to Steeples before each Mornington race day?
Yes, we will work with our Mornington team to set this up.
9. The cost of wine at Caulfield is expensive, why is that?
We benchmark our costs against the local market and we work with our suppliers to get the best deal possible. Members also enjoy a discount, usually around 10%, on food and drinks at our bars and snack outlets around the racecourse. The new members loyalty program also allows members to use the rewards points they’ve earned from attending the races or purchasing food and drink at Caulfield to be spent on beverages at the racecourse.
10. For the Wednesday meetings at Ladbrokes Park (Sandown), there is no members-only area, why?
Given the small crowds for most Wednesday race meetings at Ladbrokes Park, we only open part of the race course. This is done to minimise costs, but still provide everyone attending with the relevant facilities.