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    Not eligible for federal wage subsidy, TouchBistro lays off 131 staff

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    TouchBistro laid off 131 staff Tuesday after determining it didn’t qualify for the federal government’s wage-subsidy program, waiting until Parliament passed its latest package of assistance for businesses struggling amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic before going ahead with the cuts.

    In an open letter published Tuesday, CEO Alex Barrotti said the Toronto-based restaurant point-of-sale technology (POS) company had been “significantly impacted by COVID-19,” and was reducing its workforce to “address the financial impact that it’s had on our business.”

    In an interview with The Logic Tuesday, Barrotti said he “waited as long as [he] could to make the decision.” Most of the layoffs were in sales and marketing. “Our SaaS revenue has barely been impacted,” he said. But “new signups have slowed down because, obviously, with restaurants being forced to close, people are delaying opening new restaurants.” TouchBistro’s revenue from transaction fees and its reservation feature have also been reduced, although Barrotti said he could not provide figures by category.

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