April 14, 2020
I wanted to share with you some details of how we have been managing through the COVID-19 pandemic which, as you know, has had a devastating impact on our core customers within the restaurant industry and ultimately on our own business operations.
Most restaurants have been forced to close their doors for the unforeseeable future. While some sadly may never reopen, others have pivoted to offer take out and delivery to their customers. The financial impact to restaurants at this time is unprecedented. My heart goes out to our customers and to the many people across the globe who have been personally impacted by this crisis due to financial hardship or the personal burden of dealing with the global spread of the virus.
Having deployed our Point of Sale and Restaurant Management Platform to more than 25,000 customers in over 100 countries, we’ve heard hundreds of heart-wrenching stories from restaurateurs struggling to keep their doors open as the pandemic took hold. So many of our customers have also shared incredible stories about the ways in which they have continued to connect with their customers by delivering meals, feeding families, and supporting their communities – despite the unimaginable burden they are facing due to lost revenues and the impact of changes on their staff.
As bars and restaurants closed or shifted their business operations primarily to pick-up or delivery orders, our focus here at TouchBistro also shifted to ensure our customers have what they need to navigate this difficult time.
Our incredible team has worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to fast-track the development of new products (that are either discounted or free) to help our customers improve their immediate cash flow and enable them to independently process takeout and delivery orders, commission-free – meaning they can keep 100% of the profits from their sales during this time. We also created the TouchBistro Restaurant Recovery Navigator – a go-to resource for information, insights, and one-on-one support that can help restaurateurs adapt their businesses today and carve a path for the future.
As a company that is focused exclusively on the restaurant industry, TouchBistro has also been significantly impacted by COVID-19. To address the financial impact that it’s had on our business, today we are taking the necessary but very unfortunate steps to furlough 131 people from our global team of 560. The temporary layoffs will primarily impact team members at our Canadian headquarters, followed by the U.S. and the U.K.; while members of our team in Mexico will have their salaries reduced and will be cutting back to a 4-day work week. In solidarity with my team, I have also reduced my salary to zero until the situation improves.
All members of our TouchBistro family impacted by this temporary layoff will have their accrued vacation applied immediately – enabling them to receive earned pay for the corresponding period of time. These team members will also continue to receive their health and dental benefits; and in Canada, will have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). All stock options held by impacted team members will continue to vest; and they will also continue to accrue vacation days and time of service during the layoff period.
This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it is the right one to ensure the continued success of our business once the pandemic has passed and the restaurant industry begins its recovery. While we don’t know when that will be, our hope is that restaurants are able to reopen and resume full service soon.
None of us could have ever anticipated such an unprecedented turn of events. While we will have a reduced team, our commitment to the industry remains unchanged. We will continue to listen to our customers and invest in the development of products that are needed today and that will help the industry emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it’s that this is a temporary hardship we must endure now to save the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and let’s continue to do our part to make sure this pandemic passes quickly.
Founder and CEO