Because of the concerns surrounding the spreading coronavirus known as COVID-19, everything appears to be shutting down and people across the country are finding themselves out of work. Well, that now includes three beloved restaurants on Disney World property: the Rainforest Cafe, the T-Rex Cafe, and Yak & Yeti Restaurant.
Just a few hours ago, Inside the Magic received an alarming report that all employees of Landry’s Restaurants–which includes the T-Rex Cafe and the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs, and the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom–are now temporarily laid off because of the shutdowns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Now we have confirmation that while these employees will not be terminated, they will be put on furlough; a temporary and unpaid leave of absence. A Landry’s employee reached out to Inside the Magic after seeing our initial report to confirm the situation himself. He even gave us an official notice from another one of Landry’s Assets, The Golden Nugget Casino.
Team Members will not be terminated, but due to the closures most will be placed on immediate furlough. All team members with a loss of hours are encouraged to reach out to the state as soon as possible regarding the potential payment of unemployment benefits… We have made the decision to maintain benefits for those team members currently enrolled in our health plan and who have accepted and remain on furlough through June 30, 2020.
However, at this time the Company is suspending use of PTO until further notice. Therefore, hourly team members may not request or use PTO until further notice. Any accrued hours will be available upon your return for future use. Should you choose to resign from employment during this time, in accordance with applicable laws, we will pay out accrued and unused PTO, and your benefits coverage (if any) will terminate at the end of this month, March 2020. Any Team Members who choose to resign will not be scheduled when operations resume and will need to reapply for any open positions, once available.
Salaries team members who are placed on furlough will not receive pay during that time. Salaried team members on furlough will not be permitted to access e-mail or any other systems while off, and should not respond to any work-related calls. If any manager asks you to work or perform any tasks related to work while on furlough, please contact Human Recourses.
It is our sincere hope that these changes will only be in place for a short time. We look forward to getting back to work soon with our valued Team Members. We hope that everyone stays healthy and safe during these times.
This is not the first bad news to come from third-party partners at Disney World. Earlier this week, Inside the Magic covered the news as some of our favorite EPCOT sideshows in World Showcase like “British Revolution” were terminated. Several restaurants not owned or operated by Disney are also temporarily closing due to coronavirus concerns. We are really beginning to see who is protected under the Disney umbrella and whose fate is left to that of outside people who have had the privilege to partner with Disney so closely.
The Rainforest Cafe, the T-Rex Cafe, and Yak & Yet Restaurant are popular favorites among Disniacs and are an absolute must for someone’s Walt Disney World vacation. We can only hope that their employees can weather this storm to return the magic to these amazing eateries after all of this is done.