Berlin - The devastating impact of the corona crisis on the restaurant industry has hit Berlin reservations platform Quandoo hard. According to a company spokesperson, 20 per cent of the staff have been fired. A total of 87 employees around the world are affected. Before the layoffs, Quandoo had employed around 430 people.

When Quandoo launched nine years ago, the start-up was already being touted as a Berlin success story. Quandoo quickly grew into a leading platform for online restaurant reservations and it was soon acquired by the Japanese group Recruit Holdings for almost €200m.

Quandoo provides a powerful platform for online marketing and restaurant reservation management. Diners can reserve a table in seconds. Three years ago, the company began using artificial intelligence to optimise the reservation system. In 2018, the Quandoo signed a cooperation deal with Instagram.

But then came the pandemic. The German team was put on short-time work. Similar measures went into force in other countries.

"Due to the ongoing lockdown and restrictions, we unfortunately have to take more measures to promote the health and well-being of our company," the company's latest statement reads.

In October last year, it was revealed that another prominent Berlin start-up was facing major problems. Getyourguide specialises in arranging guided tours but the near worldwide ban on tourist travel has led to a massive slump in business. As a result, 90 employees - almost one-sixth of the workforce - were laid off.

Getyourguide achieved unicorn status two years ago, meaning investors had valued it at more than a billion euros. When the pandemic hit n March 2020, the company's turnover dropped to zero.

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