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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Hours and Seasonal Employees are Important for Your Business

This Christmas Eve, I found myself on a wild goose chase at 7pm trying to find establishments that were open for business. First stop – Whole Foods Markets. I got there around 7:15pm on Christmas Eve and they were closed. They appeared to have been closed for a while. There were no cars in the lot. Their normal Monday hours are until 10pm.

Second stop - a local restaurant. I wanted to use a coupon at a local pizza restaurant. I stopped in there at 7:30pm on Christmas Eve. We walked in and the girl behind the counter didn’t hesitate to say “Uh the dining room is closed – we closed it at 7 pm.” I mentioned my dine-in coupon and she said “sorry.” The regular hours for this restaurant are until 10pm. It would been nice if they offered to honor my coupon for take-out, alas they did not.

Third stop in my quest for a meal BEFORE 8pm on Christmas Eve was a desperate move. We were going to our local Wendy’s. We didn’t have to pull into the driveway of Wendy’s to see that the lights were off and that they were closed too. This was unbelievable as Wendy’s normally stays open until midnight.

So as we were making our fourth stop to a Chinese take-out restaurant, I noticed the 24 hours neighborhood Dunkin Donuts was also CLOSED before 8pm. The best part was a vehicle pulled into the Dunkin lot as I was waiting at a light. It seemed that patron was also in awe at the closure as well – he was just sitting there staring at the door as if it would magically open.

So we headed over to the Chinese take-out in the next town, but before we got there I noticed a nicer Chinese restaurant was open and ready for business. We got in and they were packed – I guess all of the hungry folks from my town ended up in there too. Of course, this restaurant was open for its normal business hours.

My point in bringing all of this up is simple, Christmas Eve is not a holiday, so try to keep your regular hours. If you want to give your regular employees time off do it, but do not sacrifice your business. Consider hiring seasonal employees who want extra money and will not mind working regular hours. There was no reason for any of the places to be closed so early. There are plenty of people who are willing to make extra money during the holidays.

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I remember about 15 years ago, certain retail stores would be open until midnight on Christmas Eve. That seems to be a thing of the past. So if your regular employees want more time off , give it to them. Make sure you bring in seasonal employees starting in November to learn the ropes so they can jump right in the jobs in December.

I was looking to spend money on Christmas Eve and nearly no one was open for me to do that. Don’t miss out on last minute sales and dinner seekers on holiday eves. Hire seasonal employees to keep you up and running. And pay your management extra money to stay their regular hours so the seasonal employees have leadership. I guarantee that if any of the four places I noted previously had advertised for seasonal employees, they would have gotten lots of inquiries. You can use online job placement services like hotjobs.com or others to find people to keep your business open for regular hours during the holidays.

1 comment:

Happigal said...

While this could be taken as only a rant (I have to mention that I personally LOVE rants!), what I liked about this post is that you actually offer a solution to the issue. Definitely 'food' for thought for restaurant owners and retailers.

I was shocked that my local Wal-Mart was not open late the week before Xmas they way they had been in the past- my guess is that on line businesses have taken a huge bite out of the brick and mortars.