The Cheesecake Factory won’t make April rent because of coronavirus restrictions

One of America’s most popular restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory, reportedly cannot afford April’s rent at any of its nearly 300 locations due to the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cheesecake Factory’s founder and CEO, David Overton, notified the company’s landlords of their inability to pay in a March 18 letter obtained by Eater.

Overton said the company’s revenue took a hit as some restaurants were forced to close in accordance with government restrictions that have been imposed across the country to prevent the spread of the virus.

Restaurants that have remained open are only able to provide delivery and takeout services, he said.

“The severe decrease in restaurant traffic has severely decreased our cash flow and inflicted a tremendous financial blow to our business,” Overton wrote.

He added: “Unfortunately, I must let you know that The Cheesecake Factory and its affiliated restaurant concepts will not make any of their rent payments for the month of April 2020.”

The Cheesecake Factory operates 294 restaurants. It has locations in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, according to Eater.

The company in 2019 acquired Fox Restaurants Concepts.

Overton, in the letter, said the company hopes to resume rent payments “as soon as reasonably possible.”

A company spokesperson told Eater, “We have very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords. We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner.”

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Tesla keeping Fremont factory open during Bay Area coronavirus lockdown

Lockdown? We don’t need no stinkin’ lockdown!

That’s the message from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who will continue to operate the electric-car maker’s Fremont, Calif. factory on Tuesday as the San Francisco Bay Area begins a three-week lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Tesla-centric blog Elektrek.

In an internal memo on Monday, Musk told employees he was not aware of any worker who had tested positive for the virus, and urged them to stay home if they felt the “slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable,” according to Reuters.

Tesla’s Alameda County factory employs more than 10,000 workers and rolls out more than 400,000 vehicles annually. Alameda County is subject to northern California’s “shelter in place” order, which limits travel and socialization for the next three weeks.

The nearly 7-million people affected by the order are required to stay home unless they work at a business that provides “essential” services, such as a grocery store or pharmacy, or at a utility provider.

Tesla was declared an “essential business” by Alameda county, a county spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.

The Alameda County public health department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The locked-down Bay Area had 273 coronavirus infections as of Monday, including six deaths. The virus has infected more than 180,000 people around the world and killed over 7,500.

Tesla’s factory remaining open comes just a day after the company revealed that it delivered its first Model Y crossover model, months ahead of its original schedule.

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Chinese factory hit hard by coronavirus appears to be open again

One of the Chinese factories that’s been hardest hit by the coronavirus appears to be returning to activity, signaling that China’s government is allowing people to return to work there, The Post has learned.

Located about 20 miles outside of Wuhan — the epicenter of the deadly virus — the Daye Hubei copper plant where more than 1,000 employees had been quarantined since late January is no longer dormant, according to RS Metrics.

The research firm uses satellites to track activity at 500 factories worldwide, including 200 in China that produce metals including steel, aluminum and copper, supplying raw materials for everything from kitchen appliances to cars and home construction.

RS Metrics measures factory output as well as employee cars and other signals that monitor productivity.

In the case of the Daye Hubei plant, “We can see the actual copper again outside,” RS Metrics founder Tom Diamond said.

Only one or two metals factories in China shut down in the aftermath of the outbreak, according to Diamond, whose customers are large hedge funds and companies who have been scrambling to obtain independent data about the outbreak.

“It’s certainly interesting that the Chinese authorities feel comfortable enough to have employees go back to work at this plant that is next to the epicenter of the virus,” Diamond said.

In the wake of the outbreak, the Chinese government shut down all forms of transportation, including trains and buses that employees use to get to work. But there were reports last week that the government ordered idled factories to resume production.

The Daye Hubei employees were unable to come to work because they were quarantined, not because of transportation issues, according to RS Metrics.

The fact that Daye Hubei has activity again is telling, Diamond maintains, because it requires the regular transport of trucks that have to haul away the sulfuric acid these plants produce.

“Copper and aluminum are among the most polluting factories and require the regular removal of waste,” Diamond said.

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