Just days ahead of the parks of the Walt Disney World Resort reopening, a third-party restaurant group that operates at EPCOT has announced that they will be laying off numerous hourly and managerial employees, according to Bay News 9.

What’s Happening:

  • Palmas Restaurant Group, who operates San Angel Inn, La Hacienda de San Angel, La Cantina de San Angel and La Cava del Tequila in EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion, have announced that they will be laying off a number of their hourly workers and management from the EPCOT venues.
  • The company has cited a loss of business from the extended closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause of the layoffs, though they did not release the exact number of how many employees will be laid off.
  • Palmas Restaurant Group does expect the business to bounce back eventually, though exactly when remains to be seen.
  • Palmas employees who are enrolled in the company-sponsored health care plans will retain coverage through the end of the month, and union cast members would be given priority in the event of rehires.
  • This news comes shortly after two other third party restaurants, Paddlefish and Terralina Crafted Italian (both located at Disney Springs), announced their own layoffs.
  • EPCOT is scheduled to reopen after several Cast Member and Annual Passholder Previews on July 15th, along with Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are both scheduled to reopen on July 11th.

What They’re Saying:

  • Palmas Restaurant Group Spokesperson: “The decision was not taken lightly. The company did everything in its power to avoid a layoff scenario, including extending paid furloughs and medical coverage for as long as was economically feasible despite the mandatory closure of restaurant operations.”