Wednesday, July 20, 2011
the woes of 2011 in Stratford...
It's dead in town...I find myself pondering the necessity of a job outside the service business. What has happened to our fair city this year?
Everyone held out through May and June "It's always slower than you remember" we said to one another. But something is different about this season. Aren't we supposed to be re-bounded from the recession? Yes, our dollar may be a little too strong for the average American tourist, but they'll still come right? The line-up of shows is perhaps geared too heavily toward 'theatre buffs' and not enough to the general populace, but that shouldn't matter! Even our best selling, most raved about show, Jesus Christ Superstar, is selling out - though that just means it's impossible to get tickets.
Stratford cannot live on one show alone!
There really isn't much to be done about it, but it has made the entire business of restaurant-ing a little extra tough this time around - this creates a situation where everyone's stresses start affecting each other.
Owners are stretched thin, working longer hours than they'd like to save labour costs and still coming up shorter than they can afford; Managers are feeling the pressure from bosses breathing down their necks forcing them to tighten their labour and cut more servers more often; Servers are significantly down in income over-all, schedules are a nightmare - constant cuts and on-call shifts that often turn out to be duds even when you get to work them! Servers then in turn put pressure on bosses, everyone wants better shifts, morale is way down and the service suffers, ultimately hurting the bottom line.
I think this season has upped the ante - and our restaurants are not delivering (a topic for another post). This will be a tough year for some of the best restaurants in town but it will certainly separate the 'wheat from the chaff' where the weaker venues are concerned.
If anyone has any insight I would appreciate the input!