Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Splitsville Terminate All Employees Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures at Disney Springs

Jessica Figueroa

Updated on:

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Splitsville Terminate All Employees Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures at Disney Springs

UPDATE: A representative from Homecomin’ has reached out with this additional information:

“In addition to their final checks, the company will continue to pay health insurance for employees who have elected to participate through April 30, 2020. In addition, we are working on a plan to provide daily staff meals.

Employees will be paid for their hours worked. The restaurants’ management, are hoping all employees return when we get to the other side of this crisis.”

The original story is as follows below:

In another set of Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures and subsequent layoffs, it appears that Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs have decided to terminate all of its employees, effective immediately.

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Reports from now-former employees from state that both establishments have decided to terminate all of their employees unexpectedly. Employees would not be paid for their remaining shifts and would not be offered a severance package. The restaurants will, of course reopen in the future with the same management, but reportedly with a new team of employees. The following official statement was released by Homecomin’ to its employees:

“The information regarding government mandates and operating restrictions are changing on a daily basis. No one is able to say when we will be able to open again. When looking at all the directives that have been issued during the crisis, and understanding there will be many more to come, it is our opinion that we will not be able to re-open our restaurants for quite some time. We are very sorry to say that we do not know when we will be able to offer you any work hours. Based upon these set of circumstances, we are forced to make the decision to terminate the employment of all our employees, effective immediately. We believe this decision is necessary in an effort to be able to open our doors again in the future. We understand this is difficult, but with no work available in the near future, we feel this will allow all staff members to take advantage of their unemployment benefits and any other government assistance that will come available because of the crisis.

Employees were informed late last night of this decision. The news comes shortly after the announcement that all Landry’s employees, which includes both Rainforest Cafes on Walt Disney World property (Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs) as well as Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and T-REX Cafe at Disney Springs, have been furloughed throughout the closure, with the only option for assistance being unemployment.

Do note that this is a breaking story and we will continue to update it with more information as it arises.

22 thoughts on “Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Splitsville Terminate All Employees Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures at Disney Springs”

  1. I will not patronize either establishment. it’s one thing to lay off temporarily, it’s another to terminate.

    • You figure it would be just good business etiquette, especially in the usual path of hurricanes,
      to have some contingency for your employees if the worst happens. Even a 2 week severance would have been something.

    • That is absurd. What would you like these companies to pay them with if they are not bringing any money in? Would you rather them just file bankruptcy and then never re-open? An economics 101 course would be very helpful for you.

    • This will allow employees to apply for unemployment. Pretty sure who you patronize wont matter for a while.

    • Any employee that leaves a company as a result of lay off, firing, quitting or retirement is deemed “terminated.” It’s legal speak for “there is no longer contractual employment between Company and Employee.”

    • You do realize this is all so these employees can file for unemployment right away and not have to make due with no money coming….I’m willing to bet nearly everyone who has been terminated will be rehired once people are able to go back out to eat at these restaurants. Honestly, firing these people, paying for their healthcare for a month, and allowing them to collect unemployment is a lot better than keeping them on the payroll with zero hours.

    • Termination allows for employees to seek unemployment benefits. So, although the words sound harsh, it allows for the program to quickly help those affected. Then, they can be rehired when this difficult time passes.

    • They’re doing it so these employees can receive unemployment benefits. They can’t do that if temporarily furloughed. Let’s look at the bigger picture here.

    • If they are terminated, they can collect unemployment benefits from the state. If they are temporarily laid off, they can NOT. Try to think it through.

  2. I love that when things are good everyone looks down on those using government assistance but when it all goes belly up they shrug and let the government take care of them. Asinine.

  3. No more Landry restaurants for me. There’s plenty of other great choices to enjoy at Disney Springs. Same with Homecoming and Splitsville. I feel so sorry for the dedicated employees at these restaurants.

  4. Why would employees return to this establishment afterward? Who would want to? Why not just furlough them? Would they not be able to get unemployment if they were furloughed (maybe that’s why?)?

  5. Will not be eating at either places whenever this this is over. One thing too layoff but too terminate just means that all of the people who work hard everyday to make you money don’t mean anything to you. What an absolute shame.

  6. What I don’t understand is why. If I’m correct, the government is incentivizing employers with tax credits if they continue to pay their employees. This just seems like a way for them to avoid a little extra paperwork.

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