Employees of Maison Kayser will be forced to put their bread-baking days behind them.
The French bakery — founded by Eric Kayser in 1996 — has laid off 708 employees in New York City, according to a Sept. 4 filing with the Department of Labor. The staff had been placed on temporary leave in March and April.
In July, it was reported that the chain would exit the New York market by closing 15 locations in Manhattan and one in Downtown Brooklyn. However, in a statement, the company called the report “speculative and inaccurate.”
But in its recent notice, Maison Kayser said unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by Covid-19 led to the layoffs.
It is unknown if the 708 employees involved in the layoffs are all the company’s New York employees. A spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.
The bakery chain’s problems may have predated the coronavirus. Last August, Maison Kayser announced the closing of two Washington, D.C. locations after just 17 months of opening.
The nation’s food-and-beverage industry has recovered 3.6 million workers over the last four months, adding back 134,000 jobs in August, according to the latest Department of Labor figures. Still, the sector is currently employing 2.5 million fewer people than in February.
Rental relief programs are running out, and restaurants are by and large struggling to bring in revenue with limited dining capacity. In New York City, a recent survey found that almost two-thirds of restaurants expect to be out of business before the end of the year.