The restaurant chain that owns and operates Aussie Grill, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Fleming’s and Outback has filed 65 WARN Act notices affecting a combined 4,184 employees in North Carolina.
The notices include three restaurants in Forsyth County, six in Guilford County and one each in Alamance and Watauga counties within the 14-county region of the Triad and Northwest N.C. Altogether, 732 employees have been affected at those 11 restaurants.
OS Restaurant Services LLC is the parent company of the chains, doing business as Bloomin’ Brands Inc. for every affected N.C. restaurant. The restaurants are open and serving takeout and delivery orders.
Bloomin’ Brands cited the suspension of dine-in restaurant services related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the notices, with the start of the reduced hours backdated to March 15. The WARN notices were given to employees April 27.
“While the company has not yet terminated the employment of any restaurant employee, and does not have current plans to terminate the employment of any restaurant employee, the company believes the sudden and unexpected reduction of hours could constitute a layoff within the meaning of the WARN notices and related state laws if it continues,” the company said in the notice.
The notices to the N.C. Commerce Department, received Monday, are designed to help affected employees become eligible for federal unemployment insurance benefits.
“We sent WARN notices to employees and the required municipalities due to a reduction in hours resulting from the closing of our dining rooms,” said Elizabeth Watts, director of media & community relations for Bloomin’ Brands.
“For employees who’ve had their hours reduced, we have provided relief pay for six weeks, and we assess our ability to continue to do so every two weeks. We are also covering 100% of the cost of benefits during this time.
“As dining rooms re-open, we are recalling them back to work,” Watts said.
The Winston-Salem restaurants are: Outback at 505 Highland Oaks Drive (affecting 99 employees); Bonefish Grill at 300 S. Stratford Road (37 employees); and Carrabba’s at 587 S. Stratford Road (43 employees). The Blowing Rock restaurant is at 8280 Valley Blvd. (60 employees).
The Greensboro restaurants are: Carrabba’s at 3200 W. Gate Blvd. (63 employees); Fleming’s at 3342 W. Friendly Ave. (54 employees); Outback at 1611 Westover Terrace (71 employees); Bonefish Grill at 2100 Koury Blvd. (56 employees); and Outback at 4518 W. Wendover Ave. (92 employees).
The High Point restaurant is Outback at 260 E. Parris Ave. (85 employees), while the Burlington restaurant is at 2735 Longpine Road (72 employees).