Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises confirmed late Monday that the Chicago-based multi-unit operator is permanently laying off dozens of employees that have been on furlough since March.
The company said active employees have not been impacted. LEYE filed layoff notices, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letters, in Illinois for many of its brands including Wildfire, RPM Seafood, Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, Joe’s Prime Steak, Seafood and Stone Crab, Beatrix and Bub City.
The company cited COVID-19 as the reason for the permanent layoffs, which will be effective in mid-December.
R.J. Melman, LEYE president, said government restrictions tied to the pandemic have severely impacted the industry.
“Our decisions are always guided by our core philosophy of taking care of our people and this was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make,” he said in a statement. “No one expected these furloughs to continue as long as they have and while we are very optimistic for the future, in the short term, we do not expect a dramatic change in restrictions placed on our industry. Sadly, as a result, we will be laying off valuable team members across the country at the end of the year.”
He said it is the company’s hope to welcome back as many impacted employees as possible next year.
“We are grateful to all of our employees for all they have done and all that they do, especially in difficult times like these,” he said.
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