Recent developments at Nextbite, a prominent player in the food tech industry, have raised concerns as reports of layoffs surfaced on LinkedIn. Denny Marie Post, the former co-president of Nextbite, shared a post indicating that the company’s restructuring was initiated in early May. This post shed light on the situation and drew attention to the changes taking place within the organization.
Additional Nextbite employees, including Aaron Oliver, the VP of Software Engineering, took to LinkedIn to confirm their departure from the company. While Oliver has not yet provided a comment on the matter, it is clear that the restructuring has affected senior personnel. Geoff Madding, the chief growth officer, and Alex Canter, the CEO of Nextbite, have also remained silent in response to requests for comment.
Unfortunately, some employees have reported that they were terminated without receiving any severance. The lack of support during this transitional period has left at least five individuals in a precarious position. Nathalie Swann, an implementation and retention manager at Nextbite, voiced her concerns on LinkedIn, stating that the company is taking steps to wind down its operations entirely and has already let go of the majority of its staff. Jax Sperling, the director of concept innovation, echoed this sentiment, indicating that Nextbite is no longer operational.
Senior Account Manager Josh Dolan and Learning and Development Specialist Sarah Brodsky, in their respective LinkedIn posts, attributed the job cuts to significant company restructuring. Despite these public statements, Swann, Dolan, Sperling, and Brodsky have yet to respond to requests for comment.
According to Nextbite’s Crunchbase profile, the company’s most recent round of fundraising occurred two years ago during its Series C funding round. In 2021, Nextbite focused on developing new virtual brands and leveraged celebrity endorsements to promote them. At the time, Canter acknowledged the uncertain nature of the virtual brand landscape, likening it to the “Wild West” where experimentation was necessary to determine success.
The food industry, particularly the delivery-only, ghost kitchen, and virtual brand sectors, has experienced a series of layoffs over the past year and a half. Nextbite faced its initial round of layoffs in April 2022, citing a change in strategy and the need for restructuring. In a statement shared with Restaurant Dive in July 2022, Canter emphasized the company’s commitment to strategically focusing on current opportunities.
In recent times, Nextbite has shifted its approach by forming partnerships with established brands such as IHOP and Nathan’s Famous. IHOP, in collaboration with Nextbite, launched a chicken tender virtual brand in March. However, IHOP did not immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the current situation at Nextbite.
Attempts to contact Nextbite through the general contact phone number listed on their website were unsuccessful, as the number was not in service. This further adds to the ambiguity surrounding the company’s current status and operations.