We had a series of surveys recently that many of you participated in. First, thank you for everyone who took the time to give us your feedback. It is invaluable.
Since conducting the surveys, we have hired a new person to work the store and had a good amount of internal dialogue about what we should do for 2018. After looking at all the results, and going through our own logistics, we’ve elected to implement the following.
Our new hours will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2-6pm. We will be open on Saturdays from 9am-5pm.
Now, for the thoughts behind the changes.
One. Why not 12-7pm? Basically it’s logistical on our end. 2-6 allows us to still conduct our days as relatively normal. Dinner can still be with the family at the normal 6ish time frame. Lunch can still be with hubby/wifey/kids. If we open 12-7 it means that the days we are open are pretty much work only with no family life. We do take family life seriously.
Also, a good reason for the earlier or later time frame is to avoid the congestion on Old Stage at 5pm. However, Old Stage is beginning to still be congested even at 6:30. And our slowest part of the day is usually from 5:30-6 so there is a hesitation to open longer through the slower time. Yes, the thought is that folks would now come at 6:30, but the family time thing outweighed it, sorry.
Two. We have a good group of regular customers who come every week. When we do bump into them at the grocery store (yes it happens) the response is that they messed up their schedule and ran out of something before we were open again on Wednesday. Totally understandable. We feel that by being open basically every other day, we can make it easier for people, especially our regulars.
Three. Saturdays have been moved back to 9am opening instead of 8am. This request was from SWMBO. She, um, HATES mornings. More than pretty much everything else on the planet. Since I spring out of bed like a hyperactive child mainlining powdered sugar at 5am, it’s quite surprising we are still married. The kids are, as you would expect, a mixed bag in between. The cookies that we have not been making this winter have been because nobody wants to get up in the morning and make them. I’m bumping us back an hour so that the cookies can come back and so that there is less whining in the morning. The high pitch is hurting my ears.
Four, the hours are starting in March, rather than now. January and February are our slowest times of the year. It’s cold, everyone is broke from Christmas credit cards, etc. No sense adding on additional hours and additional payroll right when we are doing the least amount of business. So we’ll start these new hours/days on March 1st, except for the Saturday hours. We’ll start them next week.
Five, we’ll keep our tour times starting at 8am. That way when a summer time tour starts at 8 (makes sense when it’s hot as blazes) it will finish just as the store opens at 9am. The boy, who gives the tours on Saturdays, isn’t one of my problem children for getting up in the morning so no big deal for him to start at 8am.
We’ll announce this again as we get closer, and of course update the website, Yelp, Google, etc with all of our new hours. Till then, dream of chocolate chip cookies and warmer weather.