- Virtual brand platform Nextbite laid off an undisclosed number of employees this week, according to LinkedIn posts from at least 20 former Nextbite employees.
- Some employee LinkedIn posts indicated the company may be shutting down or otherwise restructuring. Other staff members said they have been laid off without severance.
- Nextbite’s troubles follow at least two rounds of layoffs last year and no additional funding rounds since February 2021, according to Crunchbase. Still, the company expanded its portfolio as recently as a month ago, landing a deal with with Nathan’s Famous in April and with IHOP in March.
LinkedIn posts detailing Nextbite layoffs began last week, with one post indicating the company’s restructuring was decided on in early May. That post was reshared by Denny Marie Post, who left her role as co-president of Nextbite on Monday.
Other senior Nextbite employees, including VP of Software Engineering Aaron Oliver, said they were let go in public LinkedIn posts. Oliver didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Geoff Madding, Nextbite’s chief growth officer, and Alex Canter, the company’s CEO, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, either.
At least five employees said they were terminated without severance this week.
Nathalie Swann, an implementation and retention manager at Nextbite, wrote in a LinkedIn post that the company was taking “steps to wind down operations entirely” and had eliminated the majority of its staff. Jax Sperling, director of concept innovation at Nextbite, wrote in a LinkedIn post that the company is “no longer.”
Swann, Dolan, Sperling and Brodsky didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In 2021, the company focused on cultivating new virtual brands and using celebrities to promote them. At the time, Canter said the business environment was, “the Wild West of virtual brands. We don’t know what will work and what’s not going to work until we try it.”
The restaurant industry’s delivery-only, ghost kitchen and virtual brand segments have seen a trickle of layoffs over the last year and a half. Nextbite’s first round of layoffs came in April 2022, when the company said it was changing its strategy and restructuring. In a statement from Canter emailed to Restaurant Dive in July 2022, the company again said it was restructuring to “strategically focus on current opportunities.”
Since then, Nextbite has shifted toward partnerships with legacy brands, such as IHOP and Nathan’s Famous. IHOP, which launched a chicken tender virtual brand with Nextbite in March, didn’t respond immediately to requests for comment.
The general contact phone number listed on Nextbite’s website was not in service when Restaurant Dive attempted to contact the company.