The following are three examples of how to close a restaurant, not all of which are created equal.
1) Temporary Closure: Announce via social media that you will be temporarily closed. Give interested parties a specific timeline and an apology for the inconvenience. Thai-fusion restaurant Boda took this route when they posted on Facebook that they will be closed as of May 26, reopening at 5:00pm on June 3. Calling on the sympathetic nature of fans, the post continues, "Sorry for any inconvenience but we really wanna go on vacation!"
Final Notes: Temper the bad news with some good news. Example: "Starting June 9th, Boda will be open seven days a week from 5pm to 1am. Look for specials on Monday nights to celebrate! Sorry for any convenience!" Extended hours, specials, and a cheeky apology for providing convenience? That's a class act, all the way.
2) Permanent Closure: Announce via a heartfelt yet hastily typed sign taped to the door that you are closed. Let interested parties know if their gift cards are still valid at other branches of your chain, while acknowledging their patronage and apologizing for the inconvenience. Newick's Lobster House in South Portland chose this method on Wednesday, eliciting disappointed shrugs from customers who are used to this behavior from the business formerly known as Cap'n Newick's.
Final Notes: Even if they're not happy about it, at least customers feel satisfied at the sense of closure in this closure.
3) Indefinite Closure: Announce via "Closed for remodeling" signs in the windows that you are closed, giving no advance warning to customers or employees. Provide information only under duress, giving no timeline for reopening nor comfort to unexpectedly unemployed workers. The Wild Willy's branch in South Portland walked this lonely road recently, as an apparent breakdown occurred in the line of communication between Wild Willy's president Jim Williams, local owners, and employees.
Final Notes: The problems facing the restaurant, from under-staffing a venue considered "too big and too difficult" to receiving "negative reviews from customers," are unlikely to vanish now that workers have been disenfranchised and customers have been abandoned, no matter how much reorganization takes place. Does Williams' belated assurance that "all employees would be paid in the full amount" soften the blow?
· All The Shutter Coverage [-EME-]
· All Boda Coverage [-EME-]
[Photo: Boda, Facebook]