Restaurant Life : Face the Facts

Closing of Piccadilly Pub reveals harsh realities of the business.

After reading , I couldn’t help noticing the negative comments many people submitted about the way things went down. As a life long restaurant rat (34 years and counting) let me educate you a little about the realities of  my  profession.

  1. No-one likes going out of business, particularly the ownership.
  2. There is a specific formula for closing a restaurant that nearly all companies ( at least the smart ones) adhere to.
  3.  This formula has been developed over the last , I don’t know, 5000 or so years.

For those of you who don’t know, I spent 9 years working at various “Pics” including three years here in Tewksbury. During those years I have met some wonderful people that I still maintain friendships with. I have met Mr. Martin  and Mr. Klauke many times and they are both gentlemen. I have been through store closings (and openings ) when they owned the chain. I also went through closings with Anthony Athenas (Hawthorne, Lynn) Peter Dawson (Sea Gaels, Nahant) and my own restaurant (Fish Net, Peabody). They have all been very similar.

You see its not that these people don’t have compassion or feelings for their employees, believe me they do. But, vendors still need to be paid and obligations need to be met. How many people would stay on knowing that their fate was sealed?

How many people would pilfer and steal knowing they only had a couple of weeks left. The sad reality is anarchy and chaos would consume the facility. Angry employees  and angry guest do not make for a hospitable environment.

I am very sure that no-one will be denied their compensation benefits and that loyal people will be placed elsewhere if they choose to accept new positions. If you haven’t noticed times are tough out there. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Personally, I will silently mourn the loss of the pub and be thankful for the friendships I have made and the people I have met, while  I was there. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors. And for those of you looking for a new haunt, well, there’s a really good joint right across the street at 1880 Main.


Johnny May 07, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I have been an auctioneer specializing in restaurant and food service equipment for 20 years. I have seen every manner of exit strategy when it comes time to close down a unit. Corporate stores are more apt to close with little or no warning to the employees and customers. Independent restaurateurs tend to follow a process where all involved are aware of the impending closing well ahead of time. The point being, when it is time to close a unit down, there are multiple exit strategies because the situation with the ownership varies in many ways. My 20 years experience reveals that about half will end on a path that is less than optimal for all those involved. In some cases, it is because ownership is tapped out and belly up and must exit under cover of darkness, but in most cases it is because there is simply no way to accommodate the needs of everyone. A failed business is just that, and many times the owners are not afforded a means to lock the doors without causing problems for employees, vendors, customers, and landlords.
Bonnie Greenwood May 07, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I would just like to take a minute to express my heartfelt thanks to all the Picadilly Pub patrons, you have made a very hard time in my life a little easier. Your phone calls and notes mean more than you could ever imagine. I never thought I would meet so many caring people and for that I am grateful. Bonnie Greenwood<2
Pic Employee May 10, 2011 at 08:42 PM
As a current employee of another Piccadilly location, I would have to question your faith in this company. You are correct to say that Mr. Martin is a gentleman, however, his association with the company is solely as the owner of the buildings that the remaining stores are located in. The company itself was sold several years ago to Repechage Investments, a company out of Nova Scotia. They acquired the chain with the promise of expansion, not contraction. We were told to expect stores to branch out to Connecticut and New York. Instead, we have been faced with the closure of Franklin, Waltham, Randolph, and Tewksbury in a period of two years. Granted, this comes in the face of a terrible economy, but again we were told that the company had "sufficient capital" to withstand a recession. In addition, throughout all of these closings, we were promised that closures would enable more resources to be allocated for the remaining Pubs, but instead we have been faced with unpaid vendors, broken/unsafe equipment, questionable food safety practices, no less than FIVE menu price increases, no raises, and in several instances, bounced paychecks. While my colleagues and I are happy to have a job in this economy, we can't help but wonder when that note from Mr. Taylor is going to be tacked to the front door of our location.


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