a skeleton crew/staff/service

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skeleton crew

The bare minimum amount of employees necessary to keep an office, business, service, etc., running at a basic level. We can't have a restaurant that is completely closed during the slow season, so we keep a skeleton crew on board to serve the few customers who decide to come in. The rigs will have a skeleton crew keeping them running until the company finishes handing over its business to the new owners.
See also: crew, skeleton

a skeleton ˈcrew/ˈstaff/ˈservice

the minimum number of staff necessary to run an organization or service: At weekends we have a skeleton staff to deal with emergencies.
See also: crew, service, skeleton, staff
References in periodicals archive ?
He had a skeleton crew in the front office and marketing.
The Singapore-owned Cala Ponente had 23 crew members on board when it first docked in Blyth's Wimbourne Quay, but most have since gone home, leaving just the four Filipino sailors behind as a skeleton crew charged with keeping it secure and ready to sail.
Q resumes February 28 with a skeleton crew, but not all shows return.
Thinned out: The Angels will be working with a skeleton crew today in Tucson against the Arizona Diamondbacks as none of the starting infielders are expected to make the two-hour bus ride.
Toy Machine, repped by a skeleton crew of Dirty Billy, Josh Harmony and Matt Benetar, took the big cheese at Van's Downtown Showdown over Labor Day weekend.
The captain and a skeleton crew remained onboard and the Cibeles was taken under tow by another fishing vessel last night.
Add to this the lowest possible installation cost and the need for only a skeleton crew of workers.
The North campus will close by day's end today with a skeleton crew of clinical and security staff remaining on the premises during the storm.
We just have a skeleton crew, friends and family, that are helping close down,'' Valdez said Thursday.
There will only be a skeleton crew operating at St Peter's Hospital in Maldon, Essex, for the two months it is shut.
In terms of business, the entire (construction) market is fully documented as being awash with need, and a skeleton crew can excavate just over 14,000 tons of material a week.
As a skeleton crew of managers and replacement workers - many of whom were hired on the spot - struggled to keep the doors open at Vons, Ralphs and Albertson's, striking members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 urged shoppers to honor the picket line and take their business elsewhere.
This capability has decreased our design errors immensely and has enabled us to design and build our submersibles with a skeleton crew, at minimal costs.
While many agencies worked with a skeleton crew and performed only essential tasks, county officials said the public's safety was not compromised.
The site has been maintained by a skeleton crew since being idled in 1992.