Cheesecake Factory restores pay, brings back furloughed workers

Coronavirus forced restaurant chain to cut pay, withhold rent

The Cheesecake Factory is moving to make a comeback from its coronavirus-related slowdown.

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The Calabasas Hills, California-based restaurant chain will restore full pay for its corporate employees and bakery administration workers, and it has returned nearly all of the approximately 41,000 staffers who it had furloughed, it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week.

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CAKECHEESECAKE27.61-0.24-0.88%

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The company, which owns nearly 300 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, said that two restaurants had been permanently closed and 175 employees had been laid off.

The Cheesecake Factory had announced it was furloughing about 41,000 employees back in March, when many businesses across the U.S. were forced to temporarily shut down in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The company also announced a 20% pay cut for its executives at that time. Executive officers were not included among the employees having their full pay restored, according to the SEC filing this week.

The Cheesecake Factory is moving to make a comeback from its coronavirus-related slowdown. (iStock)

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The Cheesecake Factory had also warned its landlords in March that it wouldn’t be able to make rent payments the next month due to the dramatic drop in restaurant traffic.

Its restaurants also had to close their dining rooms due to the pandemic and were only accepting delivery and takeout orders.

The Cheesecake Factory warned its landlords in March that it wouldn’t be able to make rent payments the next month. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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However, in May the chain began reconfiguring seating in some restaurants to allow some socially distanced dining with new safety precautions in place.

The coronavirus has infected more than 5.8 million people and killed more than 180,000 in the U.S. since January, according to Johns Hopkins University. The five-day average number of new cases reported each day is trending down, but still more than 40,000.

The Cheesecake Factory has also been boosting its cash flow this month with a deal on gift cards, offering a $15 bonus gift card with the purchase of a $50 gift card from its website. The deal lasts through Sept. 7 and the cards don’t expire, according to the company.

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