Allow a moment of venting. In the last two days, I have attempted to patronize two businesses only to find that their doors were closed. No, they didn’t go out of business. They simply had not adhered to their posted hours.
In the first incident, I attempted to grab a bite to eat with my husband, a friend and his parents, who were visiting from Wisconsin. As we walked up the steps to the door, we could see people seated inside eating. But when we pulled on the doors, they didn’t budge. Locked. So we went to another entrance of the business, where we were informed the restaurant had closed early — at 7:30 p.m.
I understand the expenses of keeping a business open when customers aren’t walking through the door. I worked in restaurants for many years — from my first job as a teenager through my first several years in Sheridan. It was common to send a couple of servers home early when business was slow. But why on earth would a restaurant close at 7:30 p.m.? I know many people eat earlier than that, but 7:30 p.m. is not that late of a dinnertime.
It’s unlikely I’ll attempt to eat at that particular restaurant again anytime soon.
The second time I encountered closed doors, despite posted business hours indicating the facility should be open, was on a recent trip out of town to deliver additional copies of our winter edition of Destination Sheridan. I stopped in at the museum in the morning, only to find the gates locked. I figured I was just a little early (it was 9:15 a.m.) and the employees hadn’t had a chance to unlock the gates to the parking lot (the museum was supposed to open at 9 a.m.). So I continued on my trip to Billings to drop more magazines off at the airport. On my way home, I tried the museum again. Still no luck.
I often preach the need to shop local, and that includes eating in local restaurants. But that’s hard to do when some businesses do not honor their own business hours.
I apologize for the rant, but if customers are to support local entrepreneurs, those folks have to hold up their end of the bargain, too.
While on the topic of shopping, I hope you’ve stocked up on your favorite game-time snacks already. Forecasters have warned of the return of winter weather this weekend. Saturday, the Sheridan area is expected to have a mix of rain and snow, which will turn to snow Saturday night and include around 3 inches of the white stuff.
Snow will continue on and off, it seems, through the early part of next week.
So if you’re heading out to a party to take in the “big game” featuring the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, drive carefully. The roads might be a little rough Sunday.
I don’t have one because I haven’t followed either team. But, if I have to choose, I’ll likely root for the Patriots. I know, most news reports indicate very few individuals in states outside the Northeast are doing so. But I figure if that’s the case, they could use a few more fans.