Hof’s Hut Restaurants Inc., which operates Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que and Saint & Second, is rebounding after furloughing 516 employees in Long Beach, Torrance, Orange and Los Alamitos.
In a series of March 17 notices sent to the state Employment Development Department, Hof’s attorney Jennifer S. Pucher attributed the company’s 516 temporary layoffs to “rapidly developing events surrounding COVID-19, which is now recognized as a global pandemic, natural disaster, and physical calamity.”
The notices said the Signal Hill-based company was temporarily closing dine-in service at four restaurants in Long Beach, two in Torrance, one in Anaheim and another in Los Alamitos, although delivery and takeout service would continue.
When the announcements were sent, the company said it would help workers transition to other employment and would also give them the option of returning to Hof’s if conditions improved.
Bringing workers back
Business has since picked up, according to Joan Hansen, Hof’s director of marketing.
“With the advent of patio dining and increased takeout business, we’ve been fortunate enough to bring a number of team members back,” Hansen said in a text sent Monday afternoon.
Hansen, who was in back-to-meetings, didn’t say how many furloughed employees have returned to work.
The temporary layoffs took effect March 16. The affected restaurants and layoffs per location included:
- Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 6257 E. 2nd St., Long Beach – 46 employees
- Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, 2147 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach – 47 employees
- Saint & Second, 4828 E. 2nd St., Long Beach – 85 employees
- Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 7411 Carson St., Long Beach – 80 employees
- Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 21540 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance – 66 employees
- Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, 23635 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance – 100 employees
- Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, 4050 W. Chapman Ave., Orange – 36 employees
- Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos – 56 employees
Industry conditions remain grim
Jot Condie, president of the California Restaurant Association, says pickup is the new dine-in.
In a recent interview with Marketplace, Condie said chefs are offering entrees in a grab-and-go kind of setting and are “sort of meeting the demand of the customers as they’re evolving.”
But overall conditions remain grim. He estimates that a third of California restaurants won’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic and said up to half of restaurants in urban areas will likely go under.