Each year, many restaurants, cafes, hotels, and other food & beverage providers ponder on this exact question in the lead up to Easter, Christmas and the gamut of Public Holidays we have in Australia.  It is a reasonable question to ask; however we are all entitled to a break from work, employees and employers alike.

Although there is no fixed rule, at Brisan we like to advise our clients to weigh up the pros and cons of this situation. We encourage our clients – business owners and managers – to identify and understand the ongoing costs associated with running their hospitality operation, even when the doors are shut.  If you are also thinking about weighing up benefits versus costs, consider:

  • Rates & Taxes, Rent, etc must all still be paid.
  • If you have full-time and part-time employees, annual leave entitlements must be paid during this period also.

If, after considering these areas, you are able to allow for these costs in your budgeting throughout the year, a well-earned break across Christmas, Easter, or Public Holidays is most likely a viable option for your business.

Now that we’ve thought about the accounting, it’s also important to consider customer perceptions. It is valuable for hospitality businesses to also consider how customers will view a temporary closure, and to prepare to minimise against loss of future business.   We recommend ensuring your customers are aware of the holiday closure.  Place notifications on social media and your website, in addition to  adding signage on windows and/or doors of your venue, well before the holiday period, to inform regular customers as well as “first time” patrons.  Building anticipation for the reopening of a favourite café or take-away location, or the ability to book for a dinner once you return is often a great thing, especially when you have noteworthy food and service!  Rest assured, most customers accept that their favourite restaurateur or publican deserves a break once in a while!

So, as long as your budgeting is accurate, and a well-informed notice period for all customers has been provided, there is no reason why you can’t consider closing once or twice a year for Easter, Christmas or a Public Holiday. Scheduled occasional breaks provide a chance for owners, management and staff to recharge and deliver a refreshed service – something all customers will enjoy.

If you would like to speak with one of our consultants about better understanding your running costs and whether scheduled closures throughout the year can work for your hospitality business, please call us on 08 8235 1594 or book-in online for a free consultation.