Closing Early

What are you guys thoughts on closing early? Say if your last order was a walk in order at 7 oclock, and its now 9 oclock and still nothing… The menu says 10, do you stay or close up shop? Our nights are absolutely horrific, we rarely get anything after 8. Is it ok to change the hours on the website/door but leave the menus as is? I mean if the phone is ringing, I have no problem staying later but I just HATE sitting around waiting and waiting.

Thanks for any input!

I had the same problem. Here is what I did. I got a peice of paper. Wrote down every day what time our last 3 orders came in. I did this for 1 month. By then I saw a definate trend. And decided to close early based on the trend. I changed the website, put a note on the door. When it came time to redo menu’s I printed them out with new hours. Until then, I printed out labels and covered the old hours with the label printed with new hours.

Now the other option, is to find out how to increase your sales after 8 pm. You could do night owl specials, or late eaters specials, or whatever you call them, but you would have to either send it out in the mail, or add a banner outside your store or printed on the window, some sort of bang up display, maybe something that you only display after 8 so you dont discourage people from coming in say at 7 cuz they want to wait till 8 and get the deal. But you get what I mean… it’s all about thinking about it, do you want business after 8, then decide if you want to work to get it, are some sales, and some profit worth it, or is closing at 8 fine with you?


Nine o’clock is definitely more appropriate – maybe 10 on the weekends??? In my experience it never made much sense or much benefit to try and push sales later in the night. Rather just push sales and the later sales will just come as a result. When I first bought my place the sales by the hour were the same. Just pushing sales in general filled them in.

Change everything you can that displays hours. If you have a “big” investment in menus let them be. Usually you don’t want to do things like that but its not like you will be affecting anyone at this point anyway.

We will close. If we stop making money after 7 I either close or try somthing to bring in more sales. But when the money stops we stop. But if you are going to change your closing on a regular basis, like lets say you were open til 9 and all your material says 9, but business stopped around 7:30 then close at eight and change menu, door sign etc to 8