GENEVA — Denny’s, the family restaurant chain that calls itself “America’s Diner,” is closing its locations in Geneva, Canandaigua and Monroe County.
The restaurant is known for comfort food, in particular its breakfasts. Its owner, Feast American Diners, filed a notice with the state Department of Labor on May 14 of its intention to close, citing “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”
The company began laying off workers March 17 when the state ordered restaurants to cease indoor dining to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants have been allowed to operate via delivery and curbside service, but there is no date set yet for when they can reopen indoor dining — which is expected to be the third phase of the state’s gradual reopening process — and under what conditions.
In all, 187 employees will lose their jobs in the five Denny’s in greater Rochester, according to the state Labor Office filing.
Here is the list of Denny’s closings and the number of workers losing jobs:
• 813 Canandaigua Road (Routes 5&20), Geneva, 28 employees.
• 160 Eastern Boulevard, Canandaigua, 33 employees.
• 2890 W. Ridge Road, Rochester, 52 employees.
• 911 Jefferson Road, Rochester, 44 employees.
• 4240 Lakeville Road (Route 20A), Geneseo, 30 employees.
The Denny’s chain has been operating for more than 60 years around the United States, many of them 24-hour operations. The restaurant also operates internationally.
Many customers responding to a Finger Lakes Times’ Facebook post asking for comments said they were sad to learn of the closures, but were not surprised.
Some of their comments:
Kathleen Sherman Morrow: “Sounds like they were probably running in the red all along and had no contingency plan. That is very sad for their employees. There is much better food to be had in those areas, anyways.”
Cindy Delong: “I feel bad about the employees losing their jobs. I stopped going there as much before the pandemic. The food went downhill and was understaffed. Wait time for food was awful. I will miss their pancakes. Always fluffy and very tasty.”
Tree Smith: “I feel sad. We knew everyone. In Geneva the girls were so friendly.”
Brandy Marie: “I went to the one in Auburn back in March and the food was terrible. It’s gone downhill in the past few years. Which is sad, because they used to have really good food. Especially their breakfast.”
Vicky Lizbeth Maldonado: “The one in Geneva, the food was never (very) good and customer service was poor, I’m sad this is happening to them, but it won’t be missed.”
William Horn II: “Sad, but they were closing them before the pandemic.”
Andrew O’Donnell: “I had a feeling they were gonna close because of the pandemic.”