Plain and simple, we close on holidays because we can and because we want to.
Right now, it works for our restaurant, our employees, and our customers. That may change, but for now, closing on nearly every holiday is right for us.
That said, we understand why it might not be right or easy for other businesses large and small to make the same decision. We know that other businesses may have the same concerns that we do, along with other issues that we aren’t aware of, and come to a different conclusion.
We can close on holidays.
We decide our hours, something not every business can so easily control. Many are franchises or corporately owned businesses, or have lease requirements which dictate when they must be open. Many are essential or nearly essential services, meaning that someone has to work. And many services seem essential when you need them, so they’re offering a service by staying open. Anyone driving home on a holiday on a nearly empty tank is glad to see an open sign at a gas station, but might think it ludicrous for another business to have its light on. We are a family business and we get to decide. We might make a different decision under different circumstances, but under ours, we can decide to close.
The number one and overriding reason we close is for our employees.
Our current employees would like to have the holidays off. We do too. If we’re not willing to give up our time with our family and friends on holidays, it doesn’t seem quite right to ask it of our employees.
We know that closing costs our employees.
On the other hand, when we close, we indirectly take pay away from our employees. Sometimes employees want or need to work on a given day, even if it is a holiday. We’re sensitive to the fact that we employee on an hourly basis, meaning that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. When we close, the hours are gone. We cannot make up or add those hours on another day, so there are less hours to go around. Sometimes, employees don’t have plans or would like to work. If that’s true for our little store, it’s probably true for other businesses large and small. We’re always aware that we have a responsibility to our employees and give them a voice in making our decision to close on the holidays.
Our customers seem okay with it.
We get support and encouragement from our customers to close on holidays.
We feel that closing costs us some sales, but not real profits.
We don’t really know, because we’re not typically open on holidays, but it feels like the sales won’t justify asking our employees to give up their holidays. When we’re not open, we don’t have labor and food costs, so the out-of-pocket to close is limited to overhead. We don’t think closing on holidays will lose us any business that won’t be back. Our products and services are not a one-time purchase, so we don’t necessarily lose a sale in the same sense as some other businesses. In the balance, we think forgoing a little profit is okay to be off on the holidays.
Opening on holidays feels like we’re condoning a level of consumerism that makes us uncomfortable.
We’re one little store with one little voice, but opening on holidays doesn’t feel like it fits who we are. We’re a family restaurant, and while we have to make a little profit, simply making money isn’t really what we’re all about. Somehow, opening on a holiday doesn’t fit our mission or make us better.
We struggle with Sundays too.
We believe in the wisdom of a day of rest and worship, and although we respect that it’s not everyone’s belief, we believe in the commandment to keep our Sabbath holy. We’re also old enough to have lived in a time of blue laws and remember when Sundays were simpler. We continue to struggle with the decision to be open on Sundays.
Not all holidays are created equal.
While we close on holidays that are important to us, we don’t close on all holidays across all religions, holidays that are important to others. We’re not sure that seems fair or consistent.
The high road is a bumpy one.
We occasionally shop on Sundays and holidays and suspect that our employees and customers do too. It’s hard to take the high road when we enjoy the benefits of others being open on Sundays and holidays. We don’t make it a practice. We don’t shop the sales on holidays. But we’re old enough to know it’s would be foolish to never say never. We’ve tasted those words before.
Thank you to those who applaud and support our decision to close on holidays. As you have not judged us harshly for closing, we hope that you’ll not judge others who work on the holidays because they have to or want to.
And, one last thought on holiday closing and opening. If you’re out shopping or spending money on the holidays, be extra nice to those who are working. They may have to work or want to work for reasons you may not know. An extra smile and a generous tip are a nice way to say thank you.