Share info on closing unexpectedly with competitors?

Do any of you give a head’s up to your pizza neighbors when you are going to be closed for a day you would normally be open? This week we found out one of our local competitors was closed for the day with oven problems when a customer came in at 3PM an placed an AT ONCE order for 30 pies. They had ordered them from the other shop in advance but had just found out that they would not be delivered. (We got it covered just fine and our manager, realizing that we would get slammed that night as a result called in another cook and driver and we did an extra $1000 that night smoothly)

Over the years this has happened a few times. We have also been closed for one reason or another. Do any of you call the other guys and let them know you will be closed so they can get ready… and presumably return the favor?

I’ve never closed “unexpectedly” or otherwise for more than a few hours over the electricity being off and if I had known about it happening ahead of time I would not have notified my competitors. I will never do anything to intentionally hurt my competitors business but it is not my job to make their shifts go smooth. Years ago I heard stories of a particular Dominos franchisee who does high volume closing a store during a couple hours of Friday dinner rush due to “oven problems” specifically to overwhelm a new to the market overzealous competitor.

The several times i have had to close unexpectdly it was because the construction behind us broke a utiltiy (the have only left to break the gas line now). For us, everyone else was knocked out also, so everyone had to drive to a different town to get anything. The only thing we could do was put a sign for anyone who showed up. Sadly i do not have a phone system that can auto answer and play a message.

Damn, I’d be wanting to sabotage the ovens at that place on a regular basis!!

We get orders like that pretty regularly too…

I was thinking more along the lines of planned events though. We know that we close for an employee rafting day for instance and that same other shop closes for an employee camping trip each year. It would be nice not to get blown out by surprise when that happens. Makes us look bad if we do not handle it well. I would assume the same is true for them. A couple of years ago both the other local places closed on the last day of the ski season (a Sunday in mid April) and we did about 3K on a night we were expecting to do 1.5K and it was a real scramble until we ran out of dough. If I had known they were closing we would have prepped and staffed for a bigger night.

If I had to close because of equipment failure of some sort I would be so mad I don’t think I could talk to anybody but a repair guy.