MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Restaurants along the Murrells Inlet Waterfront prepare for the off-season after Labor Day Weekend.
Local restaurateurs admit to having a love-hate relationship with Labor Day.
Wahoo's Fish House Manager, Bradley Watts, explained Labor Day Weekend could have easily been one of the busiest weekends they've seen all summer, after the Fourth of July.
Watts said they were fully staffed, but soon that will change.
"I'd say in the summer time in the front of the house, we could have up to 50 people working. In the off season, that number may go down to 20 - 20 or 30," Watts said.
Watts explained they have staffing down to a science, and many of their summer staff are college students that leave for school after Labor Day, meaning they don't have to do many layoffs.
Candice Johnson has been a server at Wahoo's for three years and explained year-round staff begin prepping early.
"Being a waitress, all through the year, you try to save up your money as much as you can in the summer time to have that cushion to get you through the winter," Johnson said.
Johnson said business goes from zero to 60 in the summer, and although things die down in the winter, one crowd comes back stronger than ever: the locals.
Next door at Bovines, managers noticed the same pattern.
"They don't want to fight the traffic.. and it's actually a sign of relief once Labor Day comes, because they can come out and start dining with us again," explained Timothy Hemingway, manager of Bovines.
Hemingway said there is a lot of turnover in the restaurant business. While some get second jobs to work in the off season, others find other opportunities. The bottom line is: managers know which months to brace themselves for.
"January, February are your worst months, so that's when you try to find different hours for different people," Watts said.
"They have a plan. So I know although there will be a dip in money, it won't be as drastic as possibly some other places," Johnson said.
Both restaurants only close for three days around Christmas, and they plan on using the football season, weekly specials, and holiday dinners and events to bring in more locals than ever this off season.