Toronto meal pick-up app Ritual is slashing its workforce in half
After six solid years of explosive growth across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Europe, the Toronto-based company behind everyone's favourite order-ahead app is scaling back operations due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The founders of Ritual, a service that allows users to order and pick up their food without waiting in line (among other things), announced on Thursday that they would be reducing their workforce by more than half.
"The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a sudden and devastating impact on the restaurant industry, which has in turn impacted our business," reads a letter signed by Ritual co-founders Ray Reddy, Larry Stinson and Robert Kim.
"Our hearts go out to our merchants and their employees who have been affected by COVID-19 — they serve as the life of the cities in which we operate, and we remain steadfastly committed to supporting this amazing community."
.@ritual_co has laid of >150 employees due to restaurants being closed during #covid19. This is one of Toronto's top startups and they have some of the city's best talent.— Bart Molenda 💥 (@bartmolenda) April 3, 2020
Full list of local and international employees here for anyone hiring: https://t.co/IezkpLUaYP pic.twitter.com/pZC9IgyiDB
As of Saturday, the company's app is still working normally in Toronto, and the founders gave no reason to believe that this would change — which is good, because despite our affinity for lining up, Torontonians really like using Ritual.
The company will, however, be winding down and then eventually withdrawing its operations in Germany and in the Netherlands as part of what it calls "necessary steps to restructure how we operate and put us on solid footing to continue to serve our customers, merchants and neighbourhoods during this moment and the recovery to follow."
Ritual's founders also stated that they had made "the very difficult decision" to reduce the size of their team globally by "just over half."
Brutal news. Lots of great Canadian innovators are reeling. At least the amazing @Ritual_Co team have sights on recovery. Keep your vision @RaymondReddy. Canada needs you to be a global champion https://t.co/n1xQcBtJko via @betakit— john stackhouse (@StackhouseJohn) April 2, 2020
"This wasn't an easy decision nor one that we made lightly as we had to say goodbye to some of our colleagues," note Reddy, Stinson and Kim.
"We recognize that this decision comes at a particularly challenging time, and we have put measures in place to ensure that our impacted employees have the support they need."
Coincidentally or not, the company came under serious widespread criticism less than a month ago for using the coronavirus outbreak to market its services — a move that many deemed insensitive in light of the growing global pandemic.
The founders made no note of this in their letter, but reiterated that "this is an unprecedented situation."
"Our vision and the core of our business remains strong," it concludes. "Ritual is built on providing a platform that allows local communities to come together. This will continue to be our focus, as we support our customers and merchants now and in the future."
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