ShiftZen Technologies

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Starbucks Darden Restaurants layoffs show different approaches

The companies that we primarily serve are independent restaurants and franchises. These are hospitality organizations that are generally owned by local individuals, for local customers and staffed by local employees. We've not necessarily focused on that from a marketing standpoint, but its interesting that our products seem to best suit them. Month over month we certainly see changes in billing information, but we see pretty small amounts of change in management considering the reputation the industry has for 'fly by night' staffing. I was recently reading about some layoffs at Starbucks and Darden Restaurants Inc. I really like Starbucks as a company as they seem to have their hearts in the right place. They didn't exactly pull off their 'race relations' campaign and it came off awkward, but they seem committed to decent wages and are even offering their staff college educations at free/reduced prices with no strings attached. Pretty awesome. So, even though I was a tad miffed when they were featured in the NY Times for using a scheduling software that really pinched people and their schedules, I believed them when they said they were going to look at the issue and address it. I also believe them when they say they are going to do their best to help place the people they are laying off and limiting as much as possible. Darden on the other hand...my impression of them is that they are focused on razor thin margins. When the new healthcare laws came about, they were public about their distaste with the law and said it would hurt their profits (never mentioning their people and how it might help them). They ended up changing course somewhat, but their original stance and no other public programs fighting for their own workers makes me quite leery of them. In summation, I think that big companies are going to be more scrutinized with layoffs and such, but how they handle their people day to day goes a long way towards how that opinion lands.

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