J. Alexander’s furloughs 3,400 as sales free-fall

Off-premise business is generating 10% to 20% of normal weekly sales, the company says. It has provided two weeks of emergency pay to the dislocated employees.
j alexander's
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With off-premise business generating less than 20% of normal weekly unit sales, J. Alexander’s Holdings has furloughed 3,400 hourly workers with two weeks of emergency pay.

Forty-five of the company’s 46 still-open full-service restaurants have limited their service to takeout and delivery. The units are being staffed with the units’ management and “several key hourly personnel,” the operator said.

One restaurant has closed.

The company said it has drawn down the $17 million remaining in its lines of credit to continue operations, giving it $26 million in total cash reserves. If all 46 open restaurants should close, J. Alexander’s anticipates using that cash at the rate of $1.2 million per week.

Same-store sales at the company’s two major brands, J. Alexander’s and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, plummeted 24.8% and 25.6%, respectively, during March. The company’s fiscal first quarter ends March 29.

At the 46 restaurants limited to off-premise business, sales are totaling 10% to 20% of the historic average.

The company said it has enough beef inventory in hand to supply the 47 open stores for four to five more weeks.

“I am confident that we will survive the current storm,” CEO Mark Parkey said in a statement. “I am also aware of the pain and uncertainty that all of our team members are experiencing in the midst of this ordeal and pledge that we will do our best to manage the business in such a way that we can, as a family, regroup once we reach calmer waters.”

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