Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Hooters to lay off 679 employees in Tampa Bay

The restaurant chain, which was founded in Clearwater, disclosed the layoffs in filings with the state government.
The Original Hooters, at 2800 Gulf to Bay Blvd, in Clearwater, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
The Original Hooters, at 2800 Gulf to Bay Blvd, in Clearwater, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | TImes ]
Published Apr. 15, 2020
Updated Apr. 16, 2020

Hooters will lay off 679 employees, all in the Tampa Bay area, according to filings made by the Clearwater-based company to the state of Florida. Those filings were dated March 27.

The employees affected include waitresses, bartenders, security staff, kitchen staff, maintenance and hosts, according to an email sent by Hooters’ vice president of human resources, Dan Babbitt, to the state.

They work at 11 Hooters locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Port Richey, Spring Hill and Madeira Beach — including the original Hooters at 2800 Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater, where 64 people were laid off.

“The announced layoffs are a direct result of business decline and cessation relative to circumstances associated with COVID-19,” Babbitt wrote.

The restaurant and sports bar chain stopped operations on March 23, according to the email. Three days earlier, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that all restaurants move to take-out and delivery only in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

Ilona Wolpin, a spokeswoman for Hooters corporate, said that the company plans on rehiring the laid off employees when they are able to re-open their restaurants.

“We plan to get back to full capacity as soon as we are permitted to,” she said.

Local Hooters are also still doing to-go and delivery orders, which can be placed online.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE YOU LOVE TO COVID-19?: Help us remember them

UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SCRAPBOOK: Help us tell the story of life under coronavirus

BRIGHT SPOTS IN DARK TIMES: The world is hard right now, but there’s still good news out there

LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information, six days a week

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.