As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Why does the Abel/Sandoz C-Store randomly close early when it’s supposedly open until midnight?”
Since the beginning of this semester, the market has struggled to find employees who have been able to stay later to close the store. As a result, the Herbie’s Market at Abel has been closing between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturdays rather than the scheduled 1 a.m., according to retail food operations manager Rebecca Wood.
Wood said they have struggled to resolve scheduling conflicts or find people to cover for employees who are ill. She said she has been working to hire someone to take the late shift on Saturday and is still looking for at least one more employee.
“Most of the time, I have other students that are good about picking shifts up, so we try not to close early unless we really have to,” she said.
Wood said the employees put physical signs on display to let students know when Herbie’s Market will close early.
There is also a Herbie’s Market Facebook page. Wood said she plans to start using the page to announce when the market is closing early.
University Dining Services Director Dave Annis said not having reliable hours for students is the last thing Dining Services wants to do.
“We understand what it’s like to set your schedule … around our hours, and then we don’t keep them,” he said. “That can be real frustrating and we don’t like to do that to students.”
According to Wood, staffing is typically not a problem, but it has been a bit more challenging this semester.
“I think Saturday night is a hard night because people want to go out and enjoy themselves and relax instead of thinking about working,” she said.
The Herbie’s Market at Abel is hiring to try to overcome the staffing shortage. Wood said she encourages anyone who is interested in working at the Herbie’s Market to contact her.
“We are always looking for new employees,” she said. “And, we love working with students.”
Wood said she recently hired a new student and expects the Herbie’s Market at Abel to stay open until its regularly scheduled closing time of 1 a.m. this Saturday.
Freshman elementary education major Ashley Kallhoff lives in Abel and was pleased to learn the Herbie’s Market will soon be open according to schedule.
“I love that the market will be open later so I can rely on using my dining swipe that I missed if I was gone,” she said.
Wood said she is looking forward to being able to keep the market open longer because she understands the importance of being open as long as possible.
“We need to be open for our students as much as possible because it is a good service for them,” she said. “We enjoy our customers and are thankful for every one of them coming in.”