Signaling tough times ahead, ChowNow lays off employees

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ChowNow, a startup that builds branded online ordering systems for restaurants, today announced internal layoffs, TechCrunch has learned. According to several sources who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, about 100 people were affected across teams, including onboarding, operations and sales.

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ChowNow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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ChowNow was launched in 2010 as a way for founder and CEO Chris Webb and friends to easily order delivery and pickup from small restaurants without an internet presence. The company maintains branded websites, apps, and social media accounts for restaurants, as well as its own mobile and web-based ordering portals.

ChowNow will take care of payment and delivery under agreements with companies like DoorDash and local delivery startups like Jolt Delivery in Los Angeles. It also provides discovery and marketing services such as partnership with Instagram to make restaurant photos and stories purchasable by adding “order food” buttons and stickers to restaurant images and videos.

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The Playa Vista-based company is positioning itself as a friendlier alternative to incumbents like GrubHub and UberEats, charging a monthly fee instead of the ordering fees typical of food delivery businesses. ChowNow also promises that restaurants on its platform will keep their own customer data for marketing and analysis.

As of 2019, ChowNow claimed to have over 11,000 restaurant customers in North America, which together with its platform generate $1 billion in revenue. To date, ChowNow has raised $64 million in venture capital, most recently a $21 million Series C round in 2019 led by 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors.

Economic headwinds have hit the online food ordering industry hard as investors back away from what they see as capital-intensive bets. DoorDash recently close, a salad robot startup, just a year after he acquired the company for an undisclosed amount. Elsewhere, “instant” delivery company Gopuff announced this week that it will cut 10% of its global workforce – about 1,500 employees – and close 76 of its US warehouses.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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