Closed on Mondays – Good or Bad?

8/10/2009:

In this economy – what is better?

Some businesses have long had operating hours which entailed being closed on Sunday or Monday (or both – such as many Italian establishments).

Lately – I’ve noticed some businesses that were normally open on Mondays – now being closed. My guess is that they did some analysis of the sales revenue on those days vs. the overhead – and decided that it would be financially beneficial to close on Mondays rather than staying open.

Two such places are Sweet (cupcakes) on 4th and Garden – and the newly opened Miss Sushi (obvious) on 11th and Jefferson.

Frankly, if I were the owner of said establishments – considering the lower revenue – I’d work exclusively by myself. Zero overhead except for electricity. I know having employees is a bit of a problem if sales are pathetic – but why not just work yourself? ANY revenue you’d get would be positive if you had no staff to pay. And if traffic is so low – you should be able to manage alone.

The reason I post this is because I’ve received emails from several readers who were disappointed that both places were closed on Monday. They ended up giving their money to other establishments that were open, instead of these relatively new ones.

What would you do if you owned a business in Hoboken? Are you a business owner in town? How do you decide what hours to have? What is the “break even” point? Do you fear losing customers because of limited hours?

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29 Comments on "Closed on Mondays – Good or Bad?"

plywood
Member
plywood

Exactly. Mainly, all Sweet and Empire have in common is a zip code, some overlap in product line and a wonderful neighborhood small business feel. They are not competing per se.

little boots
Member
little boots

This really is a non-issue. I think Sweet and Empire are two businesses that cater to a different crowd. Empire is more set up for morning coffee. They don’t have the most extensive breakfast–just the muffins, I think. Maybe there is more variety there and I just haven’t been paying attention.

As for Sweet–I think the hours they have now are more in line with other bakeries–I know some that I go to in the city open later and close later (and I think all that I know of have at least one day where they aren’t open). Coffee and espresso goes great with sweets, and theirs is really good. Doesn’t mean because there’s coffee that the place caters to the morning crowd.

I think a lot of businesses take some time in the summer to close early, take a few extra days, or shut down for a few weeks (I think Grimaldi’s shuts down for nearly 3 weeks in late summer)

oh9183
Member
oh9183

I can’t believe there’s drama on this thread, I’m out of ittt. Will be getting my iced coffee fix TOMORROW! 🙂

elainetyger
Member
elainetyger

You can see the contrast in how the owners struggle to survive when things get slow. Sweet started opening 9am weekdays, which meant on my later days I could buy coffee on the way to work (but not breakfast, because they only have cupcakes during the week now and not muffins or anything else), then switched to 11am which makes it impossible. The decades-old Empire, a short block away, is open for the continental breakfast every morning by 8 and maybe earlier, and just expanded to add ice cream to the menu.

plywood
Member
plywood
Sweet is really a lovely store. However, it is my crackpot theory that in terms of the “to go” breakfast trade people want two main things: incredible speed and fantastic value. That is really not the crowd that Sweet seems to be or wants to be playing to, so after school and after dinner treat set are the “sweet spot*” in their customer base. And they’re not leading with “coffee place”. I’ll bet Sweet comes into it’s own at the time of day that Empire is thinking about closing. Different markets, different schedules. Win-win. In terms of closing, or number of hours open per week, I haven’t been there in a few years but Piccolo’s certainly could make some money or better on staying open for dinner, but they just aren’t interested. They want to be off for the day by then, and don’t see fit to run the dinner shift with minimum wage part-timers the way a fast food chain would. Again, both have a different place in the market. They’re not truly competing. Small business is a different animal than chain store. And I wish our town had as many as it used to. *Sorry for pun. In response to elainetyger who said: You can see the contrast in how the owners struggle to survive when things get slow. Sweet started opening 9am weekdays, which meant on my later days I could buy coffee on the way to work (but not breakfast, because they only have cupcakes during… Read more »
matt_72
Member

Sweet also caters to the “the line at Carlo’s is out the door and I want a fresh locally made dessert” crowd. That was me Sunday.

In response to plywood who said:
Sweet is really a lovely store. However, it is my crackpot theory that in terms of the “to go” breakfast trade people want two main things: incredible speed and fantastic value. That is really not the crowd that Sweet seems to be or wants to be playing to, so after school and after dinner treat set are the “sweet spot*” in their customer base. And they’re not leading with “coffee place”. I’ll bet Sweet comes into it’s own at the time of day that Empire is thinking about closing. Different markets, different schedules. Win-win. In terms of closing, or number of hours open per week, I haven’t been there in a few years but Piccolo’s certainly could make some money or better on staying open for dinner, but they just aren’t interested. They want to be off for the day by then, and don’t see fit to run the dinner shift with minimum wage part-timers the way a fast food chain would. Again, both have a different place in the market. They’re not truly competing. Small business is a different animal than chain store. And I wish our town had as many as it used to.

*Sorry for pun.

little boots
Member
little boots

Sweet is yummier anyway 🙂

In response to matt_72 who said:
Sweet also caters to the “the line at Carlo’s is out the door and I want a fresh locally made dessert” crowd. That was me Sunday.

plywood
Member
plywood

If real estate agencies and nail salons are any yardstick, this town could support another 12 bakeries.

In response to matt_72 who said:
Sweet also caters to the “the line at Carlo’s is out the door and I want a fresh locally made dessert” crowd. That was me Sunday.

oh9183
Member
oh9183

The owner will be very upfront with you and tell you that the demand just isn’t there right now. I would assume out of 30 commuters, only 1 may stop at a bakery for their daily caffeine fix. Should she open up early and make breakfast just for you? I don’t think so and she’s told customers that is basically what has happened!

In response to elainetyger who said:
You can see the contrast in how the owners struggle to survive when things get slow. Sweet started opening 9am weekdays, which meant on my later days I could buy coffee on the way to work (but not breakfast, because they only have cupcakes during the week now and not muffins or anything else), then switched to 11am which makes it impossible. The decades-old Empire, a short block away, is open for the continental breakfast every morning by 8 and maybe earlier, and just expanded to add ice cream to the menu.

mooshu
Member
mooshu

oh, take a Midol!

In response to oh9183 who said:
The owner will be very upfront with you and tell you that the demand just isn’t there right now. I would assume out of 30 commuters, only 1 may stop at a bakery for their daily caffeine fix. Should she open up early and make breakfast just for you? I don’t think so and she’s told customers that is basically what has happened!

oh9183
Member
oh9183

I would, but all the stroller moms in this town stole them to mix with their daily Prozacs.

In response to mooshu who said:
oh, take a Midol!

greengarnet
Member
greengarnet

No such thing as zero overhead and no sensible business owner would consider their own labor to be free. If an owner gets into the mentality of just “do it yourself” they will never grow. Plus I don’t think an owner should buy into the paranoia that “If I’m not open for a day, they’ll go somewhere else!” It’s more important to worry about “If I don’t maintain a great product and excellent customer service, that customer will permanently go somewhere else.”

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