Fictional businesses have much smaller staffs than their operations and working hours suggest/require. These generally come to one or two employees who are manning the place, no matter when we see it. They are presumably the ones doing all the work, even if this seems completely impractical or impossible. Consider that even a simple business like a gas station needs managing, stocking and shelving, cleaning and enough cashiers to man the register 7 days a week (possibly 24 hours a day). This is even true of larger businesses like We Sell Everything Stores or large restaurants, where the small staff may clash with the apparent size and scope of the business. This can also be rather strange when the place is packed with way more clients than the small staff should be able to cater to. Sometimes a result of having an Economy Cast. Related to Always on Duty, Covert Group with Mundane Front, Oddly Small Organization, and The Law of Conservation of Detail. Needs a rewrite, Do We Have This?, Rolling Updates
Examples:Anime and Manga
- The yellow flag bar in Black Lagoon. The only one seen working there is the owner Bao.
- The Quick Stop in The Viewaskew Niverse is always manned by Dante. We know he has a boss and there's at least another employee working there (He's got the flu during the events of Clerks but whenever we see the store, Dante is there alone.)
- Star Wars:
- The Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope has one dude manning the bar. And the place is packed, poor guy must be tired come the end of the day. A
- Watto's scrap yard in The Phantom Menace seems to manned solely by him and young Anakin (who is 8). Most of the droids he has seem solely for sale.
- Dex' Diner in Attack of the Clones is run by Dex (who is the cook) and one waitress droid. Similarly to the Cantina, the place is full.
- In the children's book Clarene Goes to Town Clarence (a dog) and his owners find a small French restaurant which is run by the owner, who has a chef.
- The Juice Bar in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was run by Ernie alone, despite seeming to be the sole place the youths of Angel Grove would gather.
- In The Brady Bunch Marcia gets a job in an ice cream store, which ups the staff to two (including the owner). Then she gets Peter a job there, and the owner takes an afternoon off for the first time ever.
- In seasons 1 & 2 of Chuck Sarah is the only employee seen at the Wiener Schitzel store (later Orange Orange). Could be justified in that it's possible it's a CIA front organization, but the impression one gets is that she just applied for a job there.
- There are two employees at The Pie Hole at the start of Pushing Daisies: Ned, the owner and baker, and Olive, the waitress.
- The titular shop from Black Books has two members of staff.
- In the musical Bells Are Ringing, the commercial for Susanswerphone that opens the show boasts of a "vast personnel of well-trained girls." The scene immediately changes to their office, where we see the owner and one of her two answering-service girls.
- Bub's Concession Stand in Homestar Runner, which is a We Sell Everything store (he even sells hot tubs and leather chairs!) is run solely by the titular Bubs.
- Fanboy and Chum Chum have a slush store/corner store staffed by two people. Strangely, they seem to work the same shift.
- In Arthur, the Sugar Bowl seems to be staffed only by the old man who owns it. This may be justified, as its entire customer base seems to be the main group of kids.
- Bosco's Inconvenience is staffed solely by Bosco and his multiple identities. Sybil is also the only person working at her store, whatever it is this week.
- The Krusty Krab in SpongeBob SquarePants has only Squidward as cashier and SpongeBob on the grill and serving (although Squidward is ocassionally seen serving as well).
- Bob's Burgers: the only staff in the restaurant are Bob's family: he cooks, his wife is the cashier, his older daughter is the waitress and his son wears a goofy suit out front trying to drum up business. His younger daughter is also around but I don't know if she has an official job.
- Most business with the Squeaky Voiced Teen as employee on The Simpsons have him as the sole employee seen. Like the very successful Krusty Burger (to compare, most McDonald's run on 3 people during the dead hours and can have over a dozen during rush hours) or the Aztec Theater and the Springfield Googolplex Theatres.
- Jeffrey "Jeff" Albertson AKA Comic Book Guy is the sole person running The Android's Dungeon. It's worth noting that that for a comic book store, this is not really that unusual.
- Apu from The Simpsons seems to be the only employee ever seen at the Quickee Mart.
- Also included is the short time Homer worked nights there.
- Moe's Tavern has only one employee: Moe. Except the one episode when it was a popular bar when he had a part-time waitress.
- When it was turned into a family restaurant there were only three employees.
- Margaret and Eileen seem to be the only employees at the coffee shop in Regular Show. If they have a boss, he hasn't appeared yet.
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