Holidays: To Operate Or Close?

Jim Luff
Posted on December 16, 2015

The winter holiday season, among other major holidays, always causes operators to make decisions on whether to stay provide service or close for the day. If you decide to provide service on a holiday, the question arises of how to choose who works and who doesn’t, and if they do work, what compensation will they receive?

A recent question in a private group on Facebook drew all kinds of responses from holiday surcharges to how to pay the chauffeur. In terms of holiday surcharges, the amounts ranged from a paltry $10 to a whopping 20% of the total sale. Almost all unanimously pass the additional amount collected on to the chauffeur.

As for deciding who works on a major holiday, almost all operators ask their employees who would be willing to work before issuing mandatory work assignments. Some offer to pay overtime rates equivalent to time and half or double time. Others offer to give their employees another day off at a later time with pay.

Some operators stated they just won’t work holidays. This is a decision that could have serious implications down the road depending on the client mix. If you have a contract for employee travel and a corporate account needs service, they may never come back. If you advertise yourself as 24/7 and you are not truly a 24/7 operation, it could leave a bad taste with your clients.

So how do you handle holidays? What holidays do you consider to be major holidays worthy of closing? What additional fees do you impose for holiday service?

Related Topics: business management, customer service, holiday, Jim Luff, operations, Shop Talk blog, time management

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Comments ( 2 )
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  • Jim Luff

     | about 5 years ago

    If an operator has drivers "refusing" to work on any given day, he has a much bigger problem! He is not in control of his own company. Our company is operated much like the military or fire department. A driver would never question a supervisor in my company. That is defined in our policy handbook as insubordination and we will show you to the door before you can blink. While we do pay a holiday premium for working on certain days, I don't know if they "should" be paid double time. That's the sense of entitlement. Good jobs are very hard to come by. I have employees that have been with me since the 90's because we take good care of them - not because they are entitled to it. They are not. They are lucky to have a job with us.

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