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Having too many customers sounds like a problem most business owners would love to have. But one cafÃ© owner in Park City, Utah, is so overwhelmed with customers, she’s refusing service to people who aren’t local residents. She’s even gone as far as to hire a bouncer to keep out-of-towners out.
Uptown Fare, a small soup-and-sandwich eatery is a favorite among locals and usually a quiet place. During the Sundance Film Festival an estimated 50,000 people come into the city making the cafÃ© so busy, local residents can’t get in.
“I don’t really have room for all of them,” said Karleen Reilly, the owner of the cafÃ©. “We only make one sandwich at a time and I can’t make ten or fifteen to go at once.”
Reilly used to close her cafÃ© from Jan. 17th to the 27th, the date of the festival. But in 2009 she decided the solution was to deny access to out-of-towners, and only serve locals. She employs a bouncer to enforce the rule and locals must give a password to enter.
“It’s the most annoying weekend of all,” Reilly told the Salt Lake Tribune. She says of the Sundance attendees, “they would camp out in here with their computers, order two cups of coffee and stay four hours, I don’t want that or need that.”
Reilly opened Uptown Fare about 13 years ago after working as a caterer, following the advice of Oprah Winfrey.
“I had always thought about opening a place,” she said, “and then one day I heard Oprah talking about if you do what you love, you will do well.”
She says giving her regular customers priority is a way to thank the people who support her the rest of the year.
“I’ve had some devoted customers who have been coming for a long time,” she said. “I think they appreciate it.”
Source: Salt Lake Tribune