At the start of 2020, layoffs were farthest from the minds of Alex and Eric Smith, co-owners of Atlas Restaurant Group. But at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the two brothers — who were expecting an $85 million revenue year — had to furlough over 900 of its 1,000 employees.
“It put me and my brother in tears, and it’s the saddest thing I ever had to do,” Alex Smith told HR Dive sister publication Restaurant Dive. “Our goal is survival and our goal is to get our Atlas family back to work.”
The company temporarily closed 14 of its 15 full-service restaurants, a bulk of which are in Baltimore. Despite the furloughs, the Smith brothers kept in contact with its employees.