Even the Billion Dollar Buyer is feeling the effects of the economic losses restaurants across the country are suffering due to the coronavirus. Landry's, Inc. has laid off approximately 40,000 workers across its casinos, hotels, and restaurants, Bloomberg reports.
Owned by Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta, Landry's has furloughed approximately 70 percent of its workforce nationwide. Landry's operates a number of high-profile Houston restaurants including Mastro's, Vic & Anthony's, Del Frisco's, Willie G's, and Grotto. Nationally, its brands include Saltgrass Steakhouse, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and Rainforest Cafe.
Despite the setbacks, Fertitta remains optimistic about his company's prospects. He's hoping that authorities who have closed restaurant dining rooms will allow them to reopen in a few weeks.
A representative for Fertitta has yet to respond to CultureMap's request for additional comment.
Currently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered that all restaurant dining rooms remain closed until April 3. While many Landry's restaurants are open for to-go, Fertitta says that method is only bringing in approximately 5-percent of their typical revenues.
“I think what we are doing with the shut-down is good but in a few weeks people will need to be around people,” Fertitta told Bloomberg. “Otherwise you are going to go into an economic crisis that is going to take us years to dig ourselves out of.”
Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets. The NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Rockets CEO Tad Brown told the Houston Chronicle that the team "will take care of" employees affected by the loss of home games during the suspension.
Lance Zierlein and John Granato debate what Landry's layoffs will mean for Fertitta's legacy on SportsMap.