• Louisiana-based food delivery company Waitr tries to stave-off bankruptcy by resorting to a mass layoff
  • Waitr said employees will be terminated on April 6 but will be able to become independent contractors afterwards
  • It faces delisting on the NASDAQ

Beleaguered food delivery service company Waitr Holdings Inc. based in Louisiana will fire 2,300 of its delivery drivers statewide by April 6 and convert them to contract-based employees to cut costs and prevent the NASDAQ from delisting it on June 2.

Waitr delivery drivers are currently paid hourly, said Dean Turcol, the company spokesperson to TV station WAFB. Turcol said the company notified the state and its delivery drivers of the layoffs on February 3. Waitr said employees will be terminated on April 6 but will be able to become independent contractors afterwards.

Louisiana law legally requires companies to provide a minimum of 60 days notice of a mass layoff to affected workers, the State Dislocated Worker Unit and the appropriate unit of local government.

Launched only in 2015 and listing on the NASDAQ only in November 2018, Waitr’s fortunes have soured so much the company's stock fell to $0.34, a drop of 0.91%, on February 14. The stock wasn't traded Monday.

Waitr stood at $11.81 when the stock closed on its opening day on Wall Street on Nov. 26, 2018. On Oct. 17, 2019, Waitr's stock plummeted to below $1 for the first time. In December, NASDAQ threatened to delist Waitr on June 2, 2020 unless its stock closing bid price was above $1 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days.

The month before the NASDAQ warning, Waitr announced plans to pull out of low-performing markets and fire employees, Twenty percent of the layoffs were in Louisiana. Waitr's stock hit its lowest mark at $0.24 a few days later and CEO Adam Price resigned five weeks later.

Last week, the company announced its drivers will become independent contractors in another bid to slash costs. An email to employees said, “after months of discussions and feedback from our driver community, we are excited to announce that we will be moving to an independent contractor driver model.”

Waitr operates in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans, and Shreveport.

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Waitr slashes 2,300 jobs.