Changing opening hours for the Dog

The Dog with Two Tails has been steadily losing money for a while now and we’ve decided to cut our early morning hours. We’ll now be opening at 11am weekdays and at 10am on the weekends.

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Last year I had to put an extra $100k in to keep the business running. Unfortunately, this was on loan and I don’t have the money to keep it going as it has been. The good news is that we’ve learnt a lot, made a lot of changes and have some profitable times.

Since opening Bark! we have performed much better as a business, but it’s still not enough to justify the early mornings. Much as we love our morning customers, there’s not enough of you to pay to keep the place open. We’ve given it a bloody good go, but it’s just not working.

Our biggest cost is wages. Now, we happen to have very lovely people working at the Dog, and we need a certain number of these lovely people working at a time to ensure that our general level of loveliness doesn’t slip. There’s a minimum number of people that we need to be on site to keep our levels of hospitality high, so we’ve been trying to get more people in the door to increase our sales thereby reducing the wage percentage. The evenings have been doing well since opening Bark!, and we’ve been doing well at lunch time, but the early mornings and afternoons have been too slow to pay for the team members.

The sensible thing to do would be to open at 4pm each weekday as this, except for the lunch hour, is when we are profitable. However, I come from a coffee background and what first drew me to the Dog was the coffee and the culture around it. Also, some of the team can’t work late hours. So, emotionally, we’ve opted for the 11am opening to see if we can make it work. We’ll give it a go and hopefully this leaner Dog will be able to pick up the pace enough to win the race.

Michael WilsonComment