A Resolution for Restaurants: Post Your Hours, and Stick to Them!
A hand-drawn menu board at L.A. Cafe, at 639 S. Spring.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — I've lived on Spring street for a touch under five years now, and for two of those I've enjoyed having a pair of great eateries flanking my building. On the one side, California Fresh, offering great salads and pizza. On the other, L.A. Cafe, where I'm a sucker for the chipotle chicken panini and the L.A. Sliders.
And yet, ask me what the hours are for these two cafes and I'll shake my head. Plenty of times I've walked downstairs planning to grab a bite and been foiled by an incorrect idea of who would be open when.
These two certainly aren't the only two offenders when it comes to keeping their hours under wraps. Many small businesses are open or closed depending on the whims of staffing, and hours become more a suggestion than a rule.
So as we begin 2009, I'd like to ask Downtown's restaurants and eateries to make a resolution. Post your hours, and stick to them.
Most importantly, post them on your door or window, visible both when you're open and when you're closed. Let them sink in every time a neighbor walks by your door.
Also, post them on your website. Make it easy for a patron to figure out your status before they make the trip out of their apartment or loft.
While writing this story I paid a visit to L.A. Cafe's website and found a nicely designed page with hours prominently mentioned (Monday - Friday, 7am - 9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am - 5pm). That's great (and I'll try to now remember them), but why did it take a trip online for me to figure that out?
The bottom line is simple: Your neighbors are more likely to come eat if they know you're open. Help them out and everyone wins.