Closing up shop: Why some Arizona businesses are going on summer vacation

Restaurants across the Valley are temporarily closing to take advantage of holidays or slower business.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:01 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The way Sal Cuffaro of Sal’s Gilbert Pizza looks at it, if families are heading out of town on July 4th weekend instead of going to his restaurant, that’s not going to benefit him. So Sal is convinced the best recipe for staying open is temporarily closing up shop. “For me, it’s a must,” he said.

For 17 years, Cuffaro has made magic out of marinara. Except, that is, the week of July 4th. “Reconnect with my family, be together,” he said. “We need to take like a week off.”

And Sal’s not the only one. Other restaurants across the Valley are temporarily closing to take advantage of holidays or slower business. Or, as ASU Supply Chain Management professor Hitendra Chaturvedi believes, maybe a little bit of both.

“What has happened is they have suddenly cut down their operating costs,” Chaturvedi said. “And you do the mathematics and say that my revenue may be low, my cost will be higher than my revenue so it may be a negative if I keep it open for a week.”

For Cuffaro, money is not the biggest issue. He’s paying a good portion of his employees even if they won’t be working next week. Instead, his biggest priority is giving every worker a chance to recharge the batteries in an industry where it’s not always easy.

“We’re going to go to San Diego a couple of days,” Cuffaro said. “A couple of days stay home, maybe a couple of days go to Disneyland.”

Chaturvedi says don’t be surprised if more Arizona small businesses start to go on vacation, as it could benefit these companies in multiple ways. But Valley economist Danny Court cautions that not every summer vacation for these businesses is planned in advance.

“Even larger chain restaurants that have closed down an additional day,” Court said. “And a lot of it has to do with staff shortages.”

Cuffaro agrees that staffing has been tough at times. But, in the end, he’s grateful that his customers are understanding. “99 percent for sure they’re happy that we take the week off,” he said.