Focus Brands — the Atlanta, Ga.-based parent company of Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Jamba, and Schlotzsky’s — announced in a letter on their website that the company would be downsizing its corporate staff as all dining rooms close during the coronavirus crisis. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the company laid off 136 employees on March 27.
“Regrettably, due to the sudden and significant loss of revenue from store closings, we have had to downsize our corporate team,” CEO Jim Holthouser, who was named head of the company at the end of February, said in the company update posted on the Focus Brands website. “Because our team is like family, these decisions weigh heavily on our hearts. Corporate employees who have lost their jobs have been offered relief pay.”
Other measures announced in the letter to employees and customers include an uptick in operational sanitation procedures, relief pay for employees that have been diagnosed with or exposed to coronavirus and need to be quarantined for 14 days and fee waivers and deferrals for franchisees to help them continue to cover their expenses and keep their businesses up and running.
“Our goal with these measures is to strike a delicate but critical balance,” Holthauser concluded in his update. “We’re doing everything in our power to take care of our customers, associates and independent franchise business owners while also setting the stage for future recovery in our industry.”
Focus Brands is majority owned by affiliates of private-equity firm Roark Capital Group.
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