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EzCater, fast-rising Boston tech company, lays off 400

Corporate catering business declines during COVID-19 pandemic.

A table sat empty at ezCater headquarters last year.
A table sat empty at ezCater headquarters last year.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

EzCater, a heavily funded Boston technology firm that helps companies order food for corporate events, said Tuesday that it has laid off 400 staff members as it contends with a huge decline in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is not enough sugar on the planet to sugarcoat this: we’re a company that feeds meetings, and meetings are not happening much right now,” the company said in a statement.

The layoffs affected employees across the company’s global offices, including in Boston, Denver, Vancouver, and Paris.

A spokesperson for ezCater said the company had over 900 employees before the layoffs. The firm, which was founded in 2007 and has been valued by its investors at more than $1 billion, said last April that it had 600-plus employees — 400 in Boston — and planned to add a few hundred more in the next year. By the time the company moved into a new headquarters at 40 Water St. last summer, its Boston staff had grown to nearly 500.

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“Now, we have to scale back until the world returns,” the company’s statement said.

EzCater, which has raised at least $320 million in venture funding over the years, said it hoped to begin growing again when the crisis subsides.

“Coronavirus is accelerating the move of restaurants and catering online," the company said. “EzCater is well-capitalized and remains as ready as ever to help our catering partners grow their business and help our customers succeed.”


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen. Shirley Leung is a Business columnist. She can be reached at shirley.leung@globe.com.