Closing for vacation

We have been in business for 10 years and are finally in a good situation. No competition, great sales, etc. etc. Unfortunately I have not had a real vacation for a very long time. I been thinking about closing for 6 days to take a stress free vacation and was wondering if any of you have ever closed for vacation and regretted doing so. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I have seen other restaurants do this. A couple of Chinese places around here do it and a friend of mine owned a fish fry/ country cooking place that used to close a week every year, one year she enjoyed the time off so much she just did not go re-open when the week was up.

We have toyed with the idea but never done it. The closest we have gotten is to close during day shift while we were gone. The longest I have been gone in 11 years is from Sunday AM to Thursday PM about 4 times, but you are never really gone if the place is open and you have a cell phone.

I would think that you would be busy when you opened back up. We are closed on Mondays. Tuesday is always busy because of that.

You should definitly close for a vacation you deserve it. When we close we put a few signs up a few weeks before and let the customers know when we will be closed. Youre going to hear the customers say good for you they wont be mad but be prepared when you open back up youre going to be busy. The real dilema is are your employes going to be paid or unpaid.

We have done it 2 of the 3 summers we’ve been opened. The time is used by part of our staff for repairs and some good old fashioned deep cleaning. The first year was no problem, last summer…I didn’t plan well and we came back to a payroll week on top of our property taxes being due for the Pub and our house. That stung a bit!

This year my wife is going touring with one of our sons so I’ll hold down the fort and plot my revenge!

I should add both years when we reopened, it was nearly like our “Grand Opening” celebration! Instead of finding folks had moved on without us we found the opposite, that everyone was patiently awaiting our return and we were mobbed for the next 3 weeks!

I would say go for it. We closed twice for vacation this year. I don’t like to, but, if its a choice between having a vacation or not, I take the vacation and close. We all work hard. You have to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor or what’s the point in working so hard for yourself.

Definatly make sure that you let your customers know in advace that you are leaving. Post it on your FB page, website, signage, maybe even flyers on your boxes. Nothing worse then getting an idea in your head that you want to eat somewhere only to find out it’s closed.

This is what I’m interested in. For those of you that have closed for a vacation, did you still pay your employees? I can’t imagine saying “I’m going on vacation, and you’re not getting paid for a week.”

I would like to do something like this. I can get away for a vacation if I want, but the thought of going on a 100% stress free vacation where I don’t need to be anywhere near my phone is very tempting. But I don’t think I could do it unless I pay my employees for the week.

Disclaimer: I am in Canada and most staff are high school students.

I am required by law to pay each staff member vacation pay as follows:
[list]Two weeks after each of the first four years of employment with pay or 4% of gross pay, and
Three weeks after five consecutive years of employment with pay or 6% of gross pay.

If a mutually acceptable time for the employee’s vacation cannot be found, the employer can
decide on the time. However, the employee must receive at least two weeks’ notice in writing of
the start date of their vacation. The employee must take their vacation at that time. [/list]

When I closed for a vacation back in March 2010 for 2 weeks I gave the staff the option of taking their vacation at the same time or time off without pay. Most opted for time off without pay and saved their vacation for summer.

I closed up shop for 5 days the first time about a decade ago. There was a big pizza competition in Tokyo, and I put that on the answering machine and made up signs to put on the front door. Headed up north, and combined it with a trip to Disney Sea.

If you don’t have trained staff to run your shop, then do it. You will make more money with a fresh brain, and a new outlook after taking a few days off.

We also close for 2 weeks. We picked the first 2 weeks in January because we are in a beach town. We let the locals know our plans (Facebook, signs on the door, and flyers on all pizza boxes) 2 weeks ahead of time. Because it’s all locals in the winter everyone is very supportive. They know we are here every day open to close. We vacation for a week and then deep clean for a few days. I believe the only way to properly deep clean is to close. We do pay our full time employees and give the part time kids some extra cash. I thought that if I can’t afford to pay my core staff while we’re closed then I shouldn’t take a vacation. I just make it part of their Christmas bonus.

Interesting topic. I do not understand why you would close just because you are leaving town for a few days. We have enjoyed having a solid crew for years. We go on vacation when we can afford it, never close, and don’t look back.

If you have employees that can run the place why not let them do so?

  1. Keeps the cash flow coming.
  2. Keeps the employees working (some can not afford a week off)

If you do not have employees that can run the place, that is what you need to work on.

Years ago we closed for a week and went on vacation. We did not pay are employees and told them ahead of time. It was fine and not a big deal. Our customers are regulars and they were happy we took a vacation.

As the years have gone on and since that day we have vowed to take a vacation every year…we haven’t always made it happen but the last few years we do make it happen. Nothing like a good vacation.

We stay open now…but we also travel to Mexico so we aren’t really available if something should happen. It’s quick, cheap and easy.

For us it has been a great move. Our staff has been around for years…we have a group that truly has our backs when need be and make themselves available. I think it has boosted their confidence. They aren’t idiots and if something were to happen they can make a good decision…thats why they are part of my team. I leave a blank check (and some money in the bank) to our head gal. She is capable of making any decision as if we were there. Our other employees realize when we get back whoever caused trouble is gone…period.
When our employees take their vacations we support them just as much.

We do give bonuses to our managers when we get back if things have gone well…they have always gotten them :wink:

Make it happen…do something you truly will enjoy…expect a bad week before and after…Give all your equipment a once over…tell your employees to expect the health dept LOL