When a restaurant "goes on vacation"
Over the last few years I've noticed a few of my favorite places(Domenico's on Washington in Pasadena, Carmine's in Arcadia)have a week or two in the summer where the place is closed and the entire staff goes on vacation. Is this a common practice? Other than these two I've never encountered it.
i think a *gone fishin* break is likely more commonplace in Europe, but we're seeing more and more places just shutting down for a week or a month in the summer here in Toronto- everyone needs a break right?
I believe it is quite typical in Europe - and in New York, I've noticed that quite a few French restaurants seem to do that as well.
My favorite Italian resto in NYC used to go on vacation every August. I used to eat there at least once a week. The last week in July was always disappointing as I knew I was to go a month without my favorite pasta sauce. One year the owner cam over to my table and asked if everything was OK. I told him I really am going to miss the pasta and house sauce. He told me to go to Walgreen's buy a bunch of plastic containers and bring them back. At 5 o'clock I picked up a month's worth of sauce for my freezer. I was one happy customer.
Out here in the Hamptons (Long Island) the majority close during the month of Jan or/and Feb, obviously this a seasonal place, but even the "local" places close for a week or two around now for major lack of business. Then NYC closes down to some extent in August when everyone escapes to the country.
You'll actually lose money (on labor and utilities) opening during these slow times. Nowadays everything is computerized so they can look at last year's figures and say "let's take a break!" and save a bundle in the process.
When I used to bartend, a couple of places would do this over the summer (it was a college town), and the owners would take their vacation, but also have the place painted, cleaned, repaired,etc. It was a good move, b/c a manager would stay to make sure that stuff got done right, but it wasn't stuff you could really be open and have done. But boy was the place looking beat up by the time they closed for that week.