Ocean Pines Selects Company To Manage Food Operations

BERLIN – Matt Ortt Companies is set to take over management of the Ocean Pines Association’s yacht club and beach club following contract approval last week.

On Thursday, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board of directors voted unanimously to approve a negotiated agreement with Matt Ortt Companies, a restaurant development and management company. The group has been selected to manage operations at not only the Ocean Pines Yacht Club but also the Ocean Pines Beach Club, which is located in Ocean City.

“I’m very excited,” said Doug Parks, president of OPA’s board. “I think the board took a long hard look at this.”

The association approved a two-year contract with Matt Ortt Companies after months of considering the concept of outsourcing its food and beverage operations. The yacht club, in particular, has struggled to make money in recent years. Parks said the decision to outsource was an attempt to address the facility’s growing losses.

“It was in our best interest to move forward in a different, more cost effective manner,” he said.

While the newly approved agreement does not grant the company management of the Tern Grille at the community’s country club, Parks says that is something that will be reviewed in the future.

“The country club is under golf (management) for now,” Parks said. “At some point in the future we’ll revisit that. We didn’t want to muddy the waters at this point.”

Parks said the board appreciated Matt Ortt Companies’ willingness to work with the association. He said the contract gave the company “skin in the game” and would motivate its leaders to turn the finances of the food and beverage operation around.

“It’s got to be an amenity that serves the folks of Ocean Pines,” Parks said.

According to a news release OPA issued Friday, Matt Ortt and Ralph DeAngelus, the company’s founders and managing partners, will be responsible for day-to-day management of the yacht and beach clubs. They’ll also be expected to provide the association with a detailed monthly report that includes “real-time access” to operating expenses. In addition, the management company will be expected to conduct ongoing surveys to gauge customer satisfaction and will provide the results of those surveys to OPA monthly.

“The contract objectives were to create an arrangement that empowers and economically incentivizes Matt Ortt Companies to perform well, institute financial and reporting controls, shift liability to Matt Ortt Companies and create a mechanism to address poor financial performance…,” the news release reads. “The contract shall be terminated for poor economic performance without penalty.”

Matt Ortt Companies was selected after the board heard presentations from two management companies. According to OPA, the company was chosen based on its “experience, business plan, staffing capabilities, and the fact that the terms of its proposal complied with the bylaws.” Ortt has operated various establishments, ranging from casual to fine dining, including TGI Fridays and Hooters.

“Ortt has experience and expertise in all aspects of restaurant operations including recruitment, hiring and training of managers and staff, profit and loss accountability, food cost reduction and back-of-house productivity,” OPA’s release reads. “He has overseen the development of multiple restaurants from the ground up, working closely with architects, engineers, and construction teams to bring his clients’ visions to reality.”

DeAngelus has served as vice president of operations for franchise-related establishments and has an extensive knowledge of industry operations.

Parks said that while the contract went into effect Friday, the yacht club was not currently open.

“There are some changes they want to make,” he said. “It’s going to take a while.”

While he said he couldn’t guess at the company’s timeline, he said he was sure the goal was to have the facility open before Memorial Day.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.