P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is laying off 299 workers across Ohio

P.F. Chang's at its Dayton Mall location. FILE

State counts more than 70 Dayton-area layoffs

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is laying off nearly 300 workers across the state, including 26 near the Dayton Mall and 48 in West Chester Twp. in Butler County.

Among the locations where layoffs have occurred are 2626 Miamisburg-Centerville Road and 9435 Civic Center Blvd, at the Streets of West Chester Bldg. 1, in West Chester.

A letter to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services attributes the layoffs to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Many of our employees, at the restaurant identified above, have suffered a reduction of hours of greater than 50% because of the reduced operations at the restaurant,” Kim Murdock, the restaurant company’s human resources business partner, wrote to the state as well as John Morris, president of the Miami Twp. board of trustees.

“The reduction of hours lasting beyond six months was not reasonably foreseeable until now," Murdock added. “As a result of these unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstances, we are notifying you as soon as practicable, taking into account the great difficulties affecting our industry.”

It is not known whether the layoffs are permanent.

The state received the letters around Sept. 21. They were posted on Ohio’s WARN (Workers Adjustment Retraining Notice Act) board late Monday.

The restaurant is also posting layoff warnings in Maryland, North Carolina and across the nation.

However, P.F. Chang’s sent the Dayton Daily News a statement Tuesday saying it is growing its business in some areas.

“P.F. Chang’s is actually increasing its operation across the country as its takeout and delivery business continue to thrive and local and state restriction are relaxed for dine-in operations,” the restaurant chain said. “These WARN notices were provided to all company restaurant employees in order to comply with WARN requirements to notify employees if their hours were reduced by more than 50% for 6 months or more.”

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in employees' loss of hours that started last spring, there is a possibility that some individuals' hours may have been reduced to that extent over a 6 month period and they have been notified of such a possibility. The company was over inclusive in to whom the notices were sent to ensure any necessary compliance with the law,” the business added.

Must like the hotel and travel industries, the restaurant industry has suffered greatly in the pandemic, with its attendant lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Some fast food chains like Chick-fil-a and KFC, have focused on drive-thru service since late March as a way to navigate the crisis.

According to a recent National Restaurant Association survey, one in six restaurants are currently closed, National Restaurant Association Board Chair Melvin Rodirgue testified to the House Ways and Means Committee last week. “Forty percent of those still open say they are likely to close within six months without additional federal relief. The restaurant industry is on track to lose $240 billion this year.”

Also Monday, Alutiiq Management Services, LLC, which contracts with the federal government and operates at the Dayton Job Corp Center, at 3849 Germantown Pike, warned the state it will lay off 121 employees.

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