A staffing agency that hires nannies and chefs for ultra-wealthy families at 6-figure salaries says it's been 'inundated' by laid-off restaurant workers desperate for work
Chefs and waiters that have been laid off due to the coronavirus are looking to ultra-wealthy families as possible new employers, a New York-based staffing agency told Business Insider. A record-shattering 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 2 alone, as authorities closed nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the virus. Since being identified in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has infected at least 511,000 people and killed over 23,000 across the globe.
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The staffs of high-end restaurants who can't work from home through the coronavirus crisis have found a new way to make ends meet as their workplaces shutter and lay them off at record rates — working in the home of a local ultra-wealthy family. A New York-based staffing agency that hires butlers, chefs, nannies, and personal assistants for ultra-wealthy families across the globe says it's been overwhelmed with calls from recently laid off hospitality workers looking for new jobs. Restaurants across the country have been forced to convert to take-out only or close entirely and hotels stand empty as authorities ask Americans to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. David Youdovin, the CEO of Hire Society, told Business Insider that his firm has placed over a dozen people in new roles this month alone. Some of the openings Youdovin filled were posted before coronavirus outbreaks took hold in the United States, while other positions were newly created to accommodate families who now find themselves spending more time at home. "It's a defensive industry and a 100% controlled one," Youdovin told Business Insider. "Our clients are quasi-recession-proof. If the market tanks dramatically, they are still fine and will always need someone to help them manage their households, serve them their dinner, or cook them their dinner." Just two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, fitness studios, and cultural institutions have already begun to lay off employees. Some cities forced the closures while others shuttered voluntarily as customers embrace social distancing in an attempt to slow the virus' spread. Air travel has also ground to a halt, leaving airline and hotel employees vulnerable to layoffs as well. A record-shattering 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 2 alone. Still, Hire Society is looking to fill dozens of open positions in New York City, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach, Florida, Hire Society recruiter Giuliana Bianchini told Business Insider. Several of the roles come with full health insurance and paid time off in addition to six-figure salaries — benefits that restaurant workers affected by the coronavirus layoffs likely did not have in their former roles. Some of the firm's clients have also begun to require that new employees quarantine themselves for 14 days before starting work, Bianchini told Business Insider. Some families are even offering bonuses to staff who are willing to sequester themselves with the family between shifts. New York and Florida, two of Hire Society's largest markets, are also home to two of the largest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the country. Out of the over 1,100 confirmed coronavirus deaths in the United States, as of Thursday, 385 occurred in New York State and 28 were in Florida. New York is now considered the epicenter of the country's outbreak, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has blamed his state's outbreak on New Yorkers traveling to Florida despite refusing to close his state's beaches amid widespread Spring Break parties that disregarded CDC guidelines for social distancing.
Since being identified in Wuhan, China, in December, the novel coronavirus has infected 511,000 people and killed over 23,000 across the globe.SEE ALSO: Gen Z workers will likely bear the brunt of the coronavirus layoffs DON'T MISS: Melinda Gates is taking walks, Warren Buffett is drinking more Coke, and Elon Musk is still going to work. Here's how the world's richest people are preparing for the coronavirus outbreak. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 9 of the most exclusive Disney spots to visit, including the invite-only Cinderella Suite where Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey have stayed
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Wealthy families are hiring laid-off chefs from NYC's cratering restaurant scene — and paying them up to twice as much to be private employees
Top New York City chefs have been recruited to become private chefs for wealthy families. The...Top New York City chefs have been recruited to become private chefs for wealthy families. The New York City restaurant industry was severely impacted by the coronavirus. On March 17, all restaurants in the city were ordered to cease dine-in services and pivot to take-out or delivery only. Becoming a private chef allows for many-out-of-work restaurant employees to remain employed and maintain a steady income. They can even make more money as a wealthy family's personal chef than they did working in a restaurant. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Chefs from upscale New York City restaurants are leaving the city to become private chefs for wealthy families instead, Page Six's Jennifer Gould Keil reports — and it's just the latest example of how the city's high-end restaurant scene is suffering amid coronavirus shutdowns. According to Keil, out-of-work chefs from restaurants like Daniel, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, and Eleven Madison Park, tell her they've been approached by real-estate brokers and talent agencies for potential new jobs as private chefs. These are some of the city's most renowned upscale eateries; Eleven Madison Park, for one, is ranked among the top restaurants in the world, Business Insider previously reported. Resorting to privatized work is one way for laid-off chefs to continue to make a living while staying in the industry. Ian Tenzer, a former sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, told Keil he "can't stand not working" and that he misses "being in the kitchen." It can also be a more lucrative career option than restaurant cheffing. Those who formerly worked as sous chefs at upscale restaurants can expect to earn $120,000 to $200,000 a year working privately for a family, Keil reports — that's compared to the roughly $100,000 they'd make working in a restaurant. They also have the potential to earn even more in bonuses if they agree to shelter-in-place with the families that hire them during the pandemic. Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported that many wealthy people (including Martha Stewart) are asking their staff to quarantine with them indefinitely, with some offering bonuses and raises to do so. Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported that the NYC restaurant industry ordinarily makes nearly $50 billion in sales each year and employs over 167,000 people. On March 17, restaurants in the city were forced to cease dine-in services and offer take-out and delivery only as part of coronavirus shutdowns implemented to curb the spread of the virus. Just a day later, Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurant group owned by renowned chef Danny Meyer that operates at least 18 restaurants in NYC (including the famed Gramercy Tavern), laid off 80% of its workforce, Business Insider's Taylor Borden reported. Many other restaurants and major hospitality groups followed suit, leaving thousands of restaurant workers without jobs or steady income.SEE ALSO: Hundreds of yachts are crowding the waters around the US Virgin Islands as other Caribbean islands close their ports, and it's creating a trash problem on top of coronavirus fears DON'T MISS: The owners of the real-life castles featured on 'The Crown' and 'Downton Abbey' are losing income and overwhelmed with maintenance needs because of coronavirus shutdowns Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
$5 billion software startup Toast just slashed its workforce by 50% despite a recent $400 million funding round, as coronavirus has wiped out its main source of customers
Toast, a $5 billion Boston-based startup that makes software for restaurants, cut 50% of its workforce...Toast, a $5 billion Boston-based startup that makes software for restaurants, cut 50% of its workforce through layoffs and furloughs on Tuesday, a blog post from CEO Chris Comparato announced. "We froze hiring, pulled back offers, and halted merit increases. As a leadership team, we will reduce our pay across the board," the post said. "But with limited visibility into how quickly the industry may recover, and facing slower than anticipated growth, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of reducing our headcount." The startup had just come off a year of 109% revenue growth, and raised $400 million in a Series F funding round in February — but its balance sheets still weren't padded enough to withstand the blow dealt by the coronavirus outbreak. The layoffs illustrate the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak, as restaurant sales plunged by 80% in most cities last month, in turn forcing the restaurant software startup to scramble. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Toast, a $5 billion Boston-based startup that makes software for restaurants, just cut nearly 1,000 employees from its work force through a combination of layoffs and furloughs on Tuesday. "This morning at Toast we shared the agonizing decision to reduce the size of our company by roughly 50 percent through layoffs and furloughs as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis," a blog post from CEO Chris Comparato announced. The company had well over 2,000 employees earlier, per Pitchbook. Although Toast's main source of customers was a restaurant industry hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, the news still caught some investors off guard. Toast had just raised $400 million in a Series F funding round in February from a series of investors including Bessemer Venture Partners and TPG, so investors assumed its balance sheets were padded enough. Investors like Mitchell Green of Lead Edge Capital had even cited Toast's February funding round as a stroke of luck for the company. "Nobody knows how deep this will be, nobody knows how long this will be...If Toast had not raised that round in February, it'd be in big trouble," Green told Business Insider last week. (An email from Green to Business Insider on Tuesday said that the outbreak had gotten to the point that most companies would soon be forced to lay off workers). Some employees laid off from the company on Tuesday had only been there for a matter of months, according to their posts on LinkedIn — the unfortunate result of a hiring spree taken after Toast grew revenue by 109% in 2019, in anticipation of even more growth in 2020. But as the coronavirus outbreak hit the country and caused restaurant sales to plunge by over 70% in most cities last month, it forced the restaurant software startup to scramble. Over the past month, Toast began by rolling out a series of measures to help support its target customers hit by the coronavirus outbreak — blog posts with financial advice and resources for affected restaurant workers, a month's credit of software fees for Toast customers and an initiative to support all local restaurants by ordering takeout or buying gift cards. Toast also begun pulling back on its own costs, by freezing hiring, pulling back on new offers, and halting merit-based raises, Comparato's blog post said. But ultimately, continued uncertainty over how long the coronavirus outbreak would last and how long restaurants would be shut, forced it to cut jobs. "But with limited visibility into how quickly the industry may recover, and facing slower than anticipated growth, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of reducing our headcount," Comparato said. The company said it was offering a severance package, benefits coverage and mental health support, and an extended window for employees to buy vested stock options. It also said it was developing programs to help laid-off employees search for new roles, but did not share further details on what that would look like. SEE ALSO: A team of coding experts built an AI-powered platform during a marathon 60-hour session to help this nonprofit supply medical equipment to fight coronavirus Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money
Two workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Delaware, have come down with COVID-19, the...Two workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Delaware, have come down with COVID-19, the company told Business Insider. The confirmation follows an internal leak to the press. "We are supporting the individuals, who are recovering," a company spokesperson said. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. At least two workers at an Amazon warehouse in Delaware have been infected by the novel coronavirus, Business Insider confirmed Tuesday, following a tip from an employee there. Amazon informed workers at its facility in Middletown, Delaware, on April 6 that a person on-site March 22 was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19. Another confirmed case of the disease was discovered on April 7. "We are supporting the individuals, who are recovering," company spokesperson Timothy Carter told Business Insider. "We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site." Dozens of Amazon facilities have now reported cases of COVID-19, but the online retailer has declined repeated requests to furnish a complete list of facilities where cases have been reported. The New York Times reported that at least 50 warehouses have seen cases. On Monday, the company confirmed cases at two separate facilities outside Cleveland, Ohio, after an employee reached out to Business Insider. Last week, Amazon confirmed another case at a warehouse in Indiana now under internal investigation, Amazon said, after Business Insider reported that some managers appeared to be failing to adhere to guidelines on social distancing. The retailer also told Business Insider about an infected worker at a fulfillment center outside Washington, DC, following another tip from an employee who expressed concern for their safety. Business Insider's Hayley Peterson previously reported that Amazon plans to hire 100,000 additional workers to meet delivery demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Many around the world and 97% of Americans are under stay-at-home orders, and The Times reported that "orders for Amazon groceries, for example, have been as much as 50 times higher than normal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the business." The company is hiring warehouse employees, delivery drivers, and shoppers. Thousands of employees, who have been deemed essential and are continuing to work while many people stay home, are on the frontlines and working to organize for better pay and benefits, The Times reported. Have a news tip? Email this reporter: email@example.comJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Camel milk can cost $30 a litre. Why is it so expensive?