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Landry's Tilman Fertitta Discusses Restaurant Momentum: 'People Are Tired Of Being Locked Up'

Landry's Tilman Fertitta Discusses Restaurant Momentum: 'People Are Tired Of Being Locked Up'

Tilman Fertitta's portfolio of restaurants and casinos is seeing tremendous momentum in recent weeks, even in California and New York, the Landry's CEO said Tuesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

What Happened: Landry's properties just went through one of the best Spring Break periods in history with its performance in March even "surprising to us," Fertitta said. The company did exceptionally well in all 40 states it operates in, even in states that have restrictions. More open states like Texas and Florida are "blowing numbers away."

"People are tired of being locked up," he said.

Health and safety remain a top priority at Landry's. Even in states that no longer have a mask mandate, all restaurant workers must continue wearing masks and customers are requested to do so as well until they are seated.

Related Link: Tilman Fertitta Blasts 'Selfish Politicians,' Talks Unemployment In Restaurant Biz

Why It's Important: Part of the recent explosion in demand for dining and leisure is due to the stimulus payments. The first time around in 2020 people hoarded their stimulus check because they weren't sure if they would ever be able to find work again, Fertitta said.

But in 2021, the second check is "totally different" and is being "100% spent" as people are looking for a good time and aren't as worried about finding work "any day they want."

What's Next: It remains unclear if the recent momentum can be sustained moving forward, Fertitta said. But even if can, Landry's is facing headwinds on another front.

A percentage of former workers are collecting enough money via unemployment and other benefits that it's not worth their time and effort to work. To address this issue, the company is paying out bonuses to hourly employees because there is "definitely a shortage" of motivated workers.

"We don't need the minimum wage raised by the government, it's naturally happening in all restaurants, hotels, casinos throughout the United States right now," he said.

(Photo: Itsyoungdee via Wiki Commons)


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