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I have visited the UK (London, Reading, Swindon) several times so far. During my last trip to Swindon, I noticed that many restaurants are closed on Mondays.

Is this practice specific to Swindon or valid all over the UK?

Edit: Since Monday is not a common holiday in Turkey, it is not common for me either.

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    I don't even think it's specific to the UK. It's not uncommon for some restaurants to be closed Mondays in many western countries, including the US. – Zach Lipton Jun 6 '18 at 8:51
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    @ZachLipton Probably it was not so obvious for me in large cities (especially in Germany), that's why I noticed in Swindon. – ahmedus Jun 6 '18 at 9:27
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    It’s not specific to restaurants either, in many small cities especially, local shops, beauty salons, hairdressers etc may be closed on Mondays. – Traveller Jun 6 '18 at 9:39
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    I have been in England and France many weekends, often staying into the next week and I have never gone hungry on the Mondays, but there is less choice there as well. – Willeke Jun 6 '18 at 15:46
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    @reirab I just did a quick Yelp search for restaurants within a 5mi radius in San Francisco. Of the 2,745 places open for dinner on Friday night, 14% were closed Monday night and 20% closed Sunday night. Certainly chains and most counter service types of places are most likely to be open, but if I restrict it to $$$ and $$$$ restaurants (272 open Friday night), 38% are closed Monday nights and 31% closed Sunday nights. So it's somewhat common, but by no means universal—you're not going to starve on Mondays, and varies depending on the type of restaurant. – Zach Lipton Jun 7 '18 at 8:22
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Let's use a bit of real data to give you a full answer. I've checked Yelp to find the opening times of restaurants in London, Reading and Swindon (thanks to @ZachLipton for the idea!). The findings are summarised below:

| City    | Open on Fri 7PM | Open on Mon 7PM | % closed on Mon | 
|---------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| 
| London  | 8073            | 7326            | 9.3%            | 
| Reading | 130             | 125             | 3.8%            | 
| Swindon | 41              | 36              | 12.2%           | 

So the answer is no, it is not too common for a restaurant to be closed on Mondays in the UK.

We can also compare our findings with equivalent statistics for the Turkish cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir:

| City     | Open on Fri 7PM | Open on Mon 7PM | % closed on Mon | 
|----------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| 
| Istanbul | 3174            | 3119            | 1.7             | 
| Ankara   | 481             | 473             | 1.7             | 
| Izmir    | 270             | 266             | 1.5             | 

The data above confirms your observation that it is very uncommon for Turkish restaurants to be closed on Monday.

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    Those numbers are awesome. :) – ahmedus Jun 8 '18 at 8:12
  • Nice one. But I wonder if there's a correlation betwen places that have an old-fashioned attitude to their opening hours (or are simply very small businesses) and those who don't maintain much of an online presence. An example: I happened to cycle past an Indian restaurant in Cardiff yesterday and noticed that it's closed Mondays. It's not on Google maps even though it was apparently reviewed on Yelp in 2010. Yelp doesn't have opening hours. – Chris H Jun 8 '18 at 8:52
  • @ChrisH: What do you mean by "old-fashioned attitude to their opening hours"? Not being open 24/7? – O. R. Mapper Jun 8 '18 at 11:00
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    @JonathanReez exactly. While I agree with the conclusions (and like your method) I suspect that any online approach will be subject to selection bias. That wouldn't matter, except that in the context of travel we might be interested in avoiding chain places (with a web department) and more interested in seeking out intersting and maybe cheap places, which I suggest are likely to both lack a web-presence and close for a day a week. I've faced this in France (Morlaix, Brittany) and ended up in Buffalo Grill because anywhere more interesting was closed on a Monday. – Chris H Jun 8 '18 at 14:09
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    Interesting numbers. I'm not sure Yelp's the best choice, though -- it doesn't seem to be nearly as big a thing in the UK as it is in the US, for example. – David Richerby Jun 8 '18 at 14:40
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It is common but not universal. Chain restaurants are usually open all days, smaller restaurants may take a day off during the week and Monday is a sensible choice because more people eat out over the weekend.

Other businesses, particularly small businesses, may do the same if most of their trade is weekend shoppers.

If you are wanting to visit a particular restaurant, or are staying in an area with only a couple of places to eat out available, it would certainly be worth checking out in advance. In most areas, though, there will be other restaurants around that are open so it is only a minor inconvienience.

  • I was planning to accept your answer, but @JonathanReez came with the numbers. Thank you anyway. – ahmedus Jun 8 '18 at 8:17
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    no probs, the numbers should always win! – nkjt Jun 8 '18 at 8:46
  • "Monday is a sensible choice because more people eat out over the weekend" - based upon that reasoning (that I agree with), each day from Monday to Thursday is an equally sensible choice. – O. R. Mapper Jun 8 '18 at 11:01
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I would say that most restaurants in the UK are open seven days a week. However, if a restaurant is going to close for a day, that day will almost always be Monday.

The same holds for shops and museums – and any other business that does most of its trade at the weekend. (And, if such a business is closed for two days, they'll likely be Monday and Tuesday.) This isn't unique to the UK: I've seen the same thing in the US, for example.

It's noted in the comments below the question that public holidays in the UK are commonly on Mondays. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the day after Easter Sunday, the first and last Mondays in May and the last Monday in August; in Scotland, the first and last Mondays in May and the first Monday in August. However, I don't think that's an issue: restaurants and shops aren't legally obliged to close on these days and, since they're holidays, they're likely to be very good for business. I'd certainly expect a museum that usually closes on Mondays to open on holiday Mondays.

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    Germany used to have that as well. There's even a specific word for it. – simbabque Jun 6 '18 at 12:57
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    @simbabque My experience is that restaurants (and even shops) with a Ruhetag (closed for one day of the week) are much commoner in the Black Forest than they were in Cambridge. (Although it is often not on a Monday.) – Martin Bonner Jun 6 '18 at 13:23
  • @MartinBonner my experience with growing up in a restaurant owner family in northern Germany is that it's mostly Monday or Tuesday there. The Black Forrest area would be more traditional, and thus you'd indeed see this thing more there. – simbabque Jun 6 '18 at 13:24
  • Tuesday is also a common day to close. – Jack Aidley Jun 7 '18 at 11:32
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    Many shops still follow the tradition of closing for half a day on Wednesdays, in small market towns especially/ – JeffUK Jun 7 '18 at 12:17
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From my experience this is more common in smaller towns and possibly in the North. I live in the South (about 50 miles North of London) in a fairly large town and it's not terribly common here. I know of a few places which are closed on Mondays but it tends to be smaller and often take-away places (Chinese, chip shops, etc.). On the other hand, I have been on holiday to smaller towns (one springs to mind in the Peak District) where almost everything was closed on a Monday night except for one Indian take-away place. It may be a regional thing or may be more due to the size of town, or a bit of both.

So I would say that it's somewhat common, but far from universal, and may be more common in some regions than others.

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