Diner Owner Decides to Temporarily Shut Down After Customers Were Rude to Staff

ABC 12

Many businesses have struggled to stay open over the past few years. The pandemic caused shut downs and resulted in employees quitting or finding other employment. Meanwhile, some businesses have had trouble keeping their doors open, not for lack of customers but for lack of employees.

A Wisconsin diner named Skinny Vic’s is short staffed. They are currently hiring for multiple positions including a host, dishwasher, and a busser. The remaining employees are struggling to keep up with orders at this popular local restaurant.

While many customers can be understanding about waiting a little longer than expected for their meal due to a staffing issue, other customers aren’t so nice. According to Skinny Vic’s owner, Vicki Lehnerz, customers often make rude comments to her staff, and she’s not okay with that. 

Lehnerz spoke with a reporter from WISN about the situation at her restaurant and what led up to her making an unusual decision. One day Lehnerz had enough of the rude comments and actually closed the diner. She put a sign on the door that read, “We are understaffed severely…just like EVERYWHERE. My staff chooses to be here to serve you! Unfortunately, due to MISTREATMENT towards them, I HAVE CLOSED FOR THE REST OF TODAY! Be kind and respectful. – Vic”

Skinny Vic’s also posted a picture of the sign on their Facebook page and explained just how short staffed the diner really is. There are currently only three cooks, and one of them works 90 hours a week. There are only 4 servers, and 2 of them are full-time teachers who work at Skinny Vic’s on the weekend as a second job to make ends meet.

On the day that Lehnerz decided to close the doors, one of her cooks called out which left them even more short-staffed than usual. Regardless, she doesn’t believe that gives customers the right to be rude to her staff.

The next day, when Skinny Vic’s reopened, many of her customers showed up to show their support. One of those customers was John Bass. He explained, “She didn’t care about losing money. She cares a lot about those employees.”

While Lehnerz does indeed care about her employees, she also knows that she has to keep her doors open in order to pay the bills, but she hopes that making a stand and closing for one day will help people to understand what her business and many other businesses are experiencing.