a skeleton crew/staff/service
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a skeleton ˈcrew/ˈstaff/ˈservicethe minimum number of staff necessary to run an organization or service: At weekends we have a skeleton staff to deal with emergencies.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017