The Real Reason Chinese Restaurants Are Closed On Mondays

Ever gotten hungry for some dan dan noodles or pork buns and started calling around to find some Chinese delivery, only to find that nobody's answering their phone? You're thinking, "What the heck?" Then you happen to remember — oops, oh yeah, today is Monday. Yep, that's one more thing to hate about Mondays — if you want to eat Chinese food, be it takeout or dine-in, chances are you may be out of luck.

So why are Chinese restaurants closed on Mondays? There is no definitive rule stating that this must be so, but according to several in-the-know sounding Quora users, it is most likely because, in the U.S., at least, many Chinese restaurants may be small, family-owned businesses where the same staff (family members) work all the shifts, and they need that one day off per week. As weekends tend to be the busiest times for all restaurants, and Mondays are one of the lowest-traffic days, it makes sense to take off what would ordinarily be a slow day following a busy one.

Other reasons to avoid Chinese restaurants on Mondays

Users on Chowhound have speculated that Chinese (and other) restaurants being closed on Mondays may also be due to the fact that they cannot get fresh produce delivered on Sundays. Even though some Chinese restaurants may be open on Mondays, their food may not be at its peak, quality-wise, as the ingredients will be at least two days old by then. In fact, it's generally a good idea to avoid ordering easily-spoiled items, such as fish, at any restaurant on a Monday due to Sunday delivery issues.

Yet another reason to dine at home (or at least pick a cuisine other than Chinese) for your Monday night dining, may be the one put forth by a Yahoo Answers user — the fact that Chinese restaurants that stay open on Monday may give the chef that night off. The user speculated that Monday's meals would be prepared by unsupervised kitchen staff, and the quality might decline from lack of chef oversight. Although the source of this information may be a bit dubious as it was posted by "anonymous," a Quora user whose family runs such a restaurant related that Mondays are typically a restaurant manager's day off and it's possible that might affect the quality of service.

If you want fresh, tasty Chinese food any day of the week, though, you don't always need to be at the mercy of a restaurant's opening hours. It's actually quite simple, inexpensive, and even fun to try cooking your favorite Chinese dishes at home, so why not give that a try next time your Monday night kung pao craving kicks in? And when you're on the hunt for Chinese food on a day other than Monday, just make sure you find a quality Chinese restaurant before you head out.