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Published in Economic Development

Dave & Buster’s permanently lays off 81 in Kentwood, 311 statewide

BY Wednesday, September 16, 2020 11:55am

The 81 employees who were furloughed by national restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s in Kentwood will be laid off permanently.

The corporate restaurant’s parent company, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc., (NASDAQ:PLAY), recently submitted a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice indicating the employees would be permanently laid off as the Kentwood location remains temporarily closed.

The Dallas-based company took similar measures with their other Michigan locations — Livonia and Utica — totaling 311 layoffs statewide. Both of those locations are also temporarily closed.

“We are taking this action because of COVID-19-related business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable,” Dave & Buster’s senior director of human resources Kathryn Rainey wrote in the WARN notice, which was directed to the state, Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter and Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley. 

“We did not foresee how significantly and for how long a time the pandemic and related governmental lockdown order would impact our business.”

Despite the drastic rash of layoffs, the notice indicated that the location would not be shut down permanently and that Dave & Buster’s intended to “rehire for impacted positions when COVID-19 pandemic and economic conditions permit.”

According to industry trade publication Restaurant Dive, the corporate chain has made a total of 1,058 additional layoffs spread across six other states, including 306 layoffs in Massachusetts.

Per a Q2 earnings report from the company last week, revenue for the restaurant chain plummeted to $50.8 million in the second quarter of this year compared to $344.6 million in Q2 of 2019, an 85-percent drop. Comparable store sales decreased by 87 percent.

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