Nearly seven months after the first round of COVID-19 restrictions were issued, restaurants in Baton Rouge and New Orleans are still posting layoffs.
The P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, in the Towne Center, sent a WARN notice to the Louisiana Workforce Commission about a week ago, notifying the agency of 75 layoffs in its Baton Rouge restaurant. The chain also laid off 75 workers at its Metairie restaurant.
Two other famous New Orleans eateries also recently posted WARN notices—Emeril’s Restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street and Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter. Ninety-seven employees were laid off at Emeril’s, effective March 17 with a notice date of Sept. 15, while 80 employees were laid off at Pat O’Brien’s, effective Wednesday.
The hospitality industry has been among the hardest-hit industries since the pandemic began in early spring, though recent reports indicate the industry is taking steps to recover. Unemployment in the Baton Rouge area dropped to 7.1% in August, down from 9.2% in July, according to data released last week by the LWC. Continued unemployment claims for the week ending Sept. 12 decreased to 250,244, down nearly 6,000 from the previous week.