This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Buzzy's Closed on Mondays

Good article here from Food and Wine (click here.)  It discusses how bars, versus restaurants, are facing a rocky road to recovery from the virus mess.  The following summary of the article is from the ABL weekly update:

"But independent venues that function primarily as bars, rather than restaurants, are facing a unique existential crisis. Even before the pandemic, the notion of the essential neighborhood bar was already waning. These days, bars might be mistaken for full-service restaurants, drawing guests in with premium bar bites, while craft cocktail menus have become standard fare even at fast-casual establishments. Then there is the fact that while all the bars were closed, Americans adapted to virtual happy hours and drinking at home. U.S. alcohol sales saw a 55% increase, according to Newsweek, as folks turned to e-commerce to order deliveries of booze en masse.  Behavior experts predict this will continue even when bars reopen. All of this begs the question: What comes next? Razor-thin margins, exorbitant rents, and underpaid labor are just some of the issues that have plagued the industry for years. But now the upheaval from coronavirus could offer the bar industry a chance to reinvent itself operationally, technologically, and ethically."
Photo by Larry Eberhard

With regards to Buzzy's Country Store, I have always maintained that change was not big on my business model list.  In fact, my going in goal for Buzzy's some 13 years ago was to change things as little as possible and keep things pretty much the same as Buzzy had spent 54 years establishing.  Me taking over from Buzzy was change enough and through the years then I have tried to keep change(s) to a minimum.  

Now however, as the Food & Wine folks mention in their article, change is the order of the day given the environment that we all now operate in.  Along those lines I am looking at a number of things beginning with being closed on Mondays and adjusting the hours that Buzzy's is open the other days of the week.  I am even looking at something that Buzzy avoided his whole tenure and that is having set hours when the store is or isn't open.  Buzzy's former policy "if-the-blind-is-up-we-are-open-if-it's-down-we-are-closed" may be history.

As for closing on Mondays, it was a combination of things that led me to do this.  Business-wise it has always been Buzzy's slowest day of the week even in summer when the tourists and campers are out and about.  

Then my Monday night coverage lady Anna informed me that she is in the process of relocating back to her hometown in Pennsylvania and will be moving in the next week or two.  Anna did a great job covering Monday nights for me.   With her renting an apartment from me and living behind the Store, it was easy for her to cover Monday nights and close when things were slow which they usually were.

So closing Buzzy's on Mondays is now in place.  Want to know another little bit of business trivia that factored into this?  I get deliveries every day of the business week (Tuesday thru Friday) but for some reason none on Monday. Think maybe they were trying to tell me something all along?!

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