store hours

was wondering how you do your hours i have always been a hard core if it says we close at 9 we stay till 9 but lately it seems the orders are just not coming in later than usual in a case like this do you just close

for example if it is 8:30 and your last order was at 7:45 or 8 do you just close early and save labor or what


Normally at that time of day my wife and I are both in the store. If the bottom drops out of sales we have the employees do clean up as if they were closing and then go home leaving us a clean kitchen with just a pizza peel a knife and a pizza slicer. Depending on who I have for drivers I may keep one. When we do close we have very little to actually clean.
I am also hard core about being open if the sign says we should be. So we take order right up until closing. I tend to look at it as 'If I am having a real crappy day say five or six hundred bucks total, a couple of decent orders coming after 8:30 or so is a huge increase in profit for the day.

You have hit on one of my pet peeves. If really hate it when a business advertises they are open until XX:00 and I go to get something 15 minutes before and find the doors locked. I will take orders up to and including the minute I have advertised as my closing. I have also been known to look at the caller ID 5 minutes after close and taken the order of a regular customer.

In short don’t tick off your customers by closing your store early.

We take orders up until closing(10) and if the phones ringing we will take them till it stops. We occasionaly will shut it down a half hour early or so. It’s probably not the best Idea. But that 9-10 hour is painful if my Knicks or jets aren’t on tv. Well even if the Knicks are on it’s still painful. I have actually had people come to Me and say " you guys were closed last night at 9:30. I had to get pizza from ____. it was terrible, I’ll never go back there"

I take it one step further than Daddio . . . if you can ever avoid it, never leave a customer hanging and disappointed. That one customer who has been out working or running around all night, or just got off work and has been surviving only on the thought that he will get one of our cheesesteaks . . . we had better be open at 8:45 and not close at 8:15 like I want to.

We break down to skeleton staff, and use the time to prep, clean (always something to clean) and do projects at the shop. That is best case scenario . . . sometimes we just relax and play some with the staff making up new food items or testing out recipes.

thanks guys Rick i think i am gonna start doing just that

i always take orders up till the end…

Do the math, if you get a $30 order at close, and you did 600 for the day, taking that order bumps sales 5% for the day. Take into account u sent everyone home, and your labor for that $30 is $0.
I’ve taken deliveries on my way home, 30 bucks plus a 5 buck tip. Not a bad profit margin.

Stay open where your hours are posted.
The last thing you want is to piss off the people who keep you in business.

After we had problems with our manager closing “early” we started closing at 10:05 instead of 10. They might of only closed 5 minutes or so early but the fact word got around to us through customers was a light bulb that we should be open when we say we will.

We have a bad review online because the server was rude to the customer who came in 30 min before close and she said ya know we close in 30 minutes. It only takes one upset customer to lose several…imagine all the orders we don’t get right before close because people are reading online the service will be lousy.

I think the server started getting the idea if we are slow we close…therefore the interruption in HER plan of leaving left lack of courtesy and service.

Gotta agree with Rick and others on this.

We maintain the hours posted if not a little more. More times than not, we get a little pop right around closing, within minutes or afterwards. Sometimes, that pop can equal 10 or 20% of sales for an otherwise very slow night.

Totally agree with all the others… We’re advertised open until 9:00, we take orders right until 9:00. We will get 95% closed and we sometimes end up making a pizza in the walk-in because the makeline has been put away, but so be it. Sometimes we get one that I know we lost money on, but we’re going to take it anyway.

If we have been busy and aren’t even close to getting the place closed yet then we will gladly keep taking orders after closing time as well. I’m never going to walk past money.

Are you talking about just the past few weeks? That’s almost certainly because it’s getting darker earlier, and of course now the end of Daylight Savings Time. I hate winter time but it usually shaves 2% off of my labor rate because our rushes come earlier.

You can always advertise “winter hours” if you’d like to close early during this time - but would the savings really justify it?

Even worse than going somewhere and having it closed when the hours say they are open…is being out and enjoying your meal or apps and drinks with friends and asking the server for an order of whatever…and being told “sorry the kitchen is closed” :shock: Come on… you have customers that are paying to be there…you should serve them accordingly.

Oh… sorry for going off topic a little…but if you sell white milk and you have chocolate syrup that you use for sundae’s then why the hell can you not mix the two and give my angry 3 year old CHOCOLATE MILK! :?:

hen why the hell can you not mix the two and give my angry 3 year old CHOCOLATE MILK!
My standard reply when asked for something is, “how many would you like?”

If you regularly get orders right up to closing, maybe you should be open another hour, officially. We are open until 10 or 11:00, but sneak out fifteen minutes early on a regular basis - but getting an order in the last hour is extremely rare. We would close earlier, but “closing stuff” would keep us there until about the same time anyway.

Today, closed our lunch shift at regular time, 1pm. Standing outside talkingto city utilities superintendent at about 1:50 when a group of 17 people drives up looking for lunch. They ask if we are open (they had come earlier in the week when we did not have a scheduled lunch shift) . . . I said “we weren’t but we are for you!”. Called my server back, my night time cook was there in the conversation . . . so we opened up and more than doubled our lunch receipts. Plus wife got $30 tips. This thread came to mind in the middle of stretching the pizzas and cooking the wings. Glad we were there in the parking lot to see them come up . . . we told them when they were there earlier in the week that we close 1pm Friday. they forgot, or just didn’t hear me . . . could not let the $$$ drive away.

Ur gonna be there cleaning up Any way just close at 9.
That’s what I do

I had a story that I wanted to share that reflects on the closing of the kitchen comment that I made earlier.

When I was 17 and just graduated HS I got a job as a server at a new casual restaurant in town here. It was only our 4th week open or so and it was 945pm when a group of business guys walked in and asked for a table. Nobody wanted the table as the kitchen “closed” at 930 for new orders and they didn’t want to have to hang around late just for a drink or coffee. Even the girl that sat them told them the kitchen was closed. Well I took the 12 top table and the first question was of course about the kitchen. I said…let me get your drinks going and see what I can do. Well they all ordered from the bar and I ended up bribing one of cooks to hang around and help me out for 1/4 of the tip. If was kind of funny…all they wanted was a handful of apps and a couple of salads that I made myself anyway. They hung around until 1130…just talking and drinking for the most part. When it was said and done… their bill was about $250 or so and since one guy was charging the whole thing I added our 18% tip for large parties… I never liked doing it but the computer did it automatically and I didn’t want to waste the time to get a manager override and print a new receipt…so I let it stand. The guy asked me how I got them food since the original girl that sat them said the kitchen was closed…I told him I paid a cook to stay and help me out and I hope everything was ok. Too say the least he was impressed and thanked me. He signed his ticket and they all headed out while I was carrying some dishes and glasses off the table and down stairs…they were seated on a 2nd floor balcony. When I went back…they were all gone and I found the signed credit card ticket and $20 at each place setting. $240 plus the $40 something in the tip. WOW… what a good night for me and what an ass all the other servers were for all turning this down. The owner of the restaurant was pretty darn happy at the service I gave them and when I explained to him what I did to keep this group happy he was really impressed with me. He let me keep the $240 cash without reporting it and he matched the $40 some odd dollars so the cook that stayed behind made off really well also. Next night…new house rule… kitchen and doors stay open as long as the customers are coming in and ordering. I know this is a little off the topic but what it did for the new restaurant was give us the reputation that we were there for the customers and within the next couple of months we actually became a later at night hangout for different groups and actually extended our hours to take even better advantage of that specific croud.

Nice post.

I must say, as an operating rule, we take the orders when we can get them. Sometimes, people are generous and appreciate the extra effort. However, there have been times where the group or couple just made a frickn’ mess and stiffed the servers. You never know.

I hear ya there also. I think anyone that has worked as a server has had “that” table and oh how it pisses you off. That’s where the auto tip protects you a bit…and the times that you take the risk of not adding it, you can end up getting that 5% tip on a $300 ticket or you could walk away with 30% and love the decision. I think alot comes with experience and being able to feel out the table. If you are a good talking / listening person you will know pretty fast how that table is going to play out. There is always going to be that table that shocks you also. The ones that talk about how great you and the food are and then round that $78.97 bill up to $80 for you and say…keep the change! WOW! Thanks guys… :evil: