My pub is closed at the moment. We're doing stuff to it, we've had a holiday and it's always too quiet to be worth opening this time of year. We are, after all, a tourist pub in the middle of nowhere, a very beautiful nowhere, but it's remote non the less.
Stonch also had a close down period over the Christmas break. I'm guessing most of his trade is from city workers who disappear during holiday time. He was closed for 11 days. 11 days holiday? I bet that's the most he's had away from the pub since he started earlier in the year.
When I was staying with Ted he closed for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Ted could have opened for Christmas eve and quite probably would have done alright out of it. I feel guilty that I did mock slightly. But Ted was adamant that on this occasion his wife and girls came first. He was at least going to do at Christmas what they have always done.
My friends at The Prince of Wales close every week Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday, except for bank holidays. They always have done, it's what they advertise and the majority of their customer base are very happy with the arrangement.
The first year we closed for part of the winter was the first year things started to improve for us here. We saved money on power and staff costs. Costs we could never recoup from the tiny revenue at this time of year, yes, even including Christmas and New Year. We started to get a breather, and get some important work done on the property.
The situation is explained here and also here on The Woolpack Inn blog. Notice the second anonymous comment. To me it says "how dare you have a life, how dare you have a Christmas of your own".
It seems to me that many pubs stay open at times when it is not financially viable because if they don't the publican comes in for grief. For us, closing for part of the winter is probably saving us from ruin, both financially and psychologically. We still continue to get criticised for this even though it is now the third year we have closed for most of the winter.
So would you rather your local, if it had to, closed part time, or closed altogether?