COVID culling! Tanmantiong bares layoffs in Jollibee office staff as crisis measures flop

Struggling fastfood giant, Jollibee Foods Corp., is cutting down drastically its office staff after admitting that its measures to cope with the coronavirus crisis have failed.

“It is with great sadness that I announce that we will implement the rationalization of our main office’s organizations effective October 1,” said Jollibee president Ernesto Tanmantiong in an August 27 message to employees obtained by BILYONARYO.

“The review will include MO organizations based in the Philippines for all brands, global functions, and support groups. We will be introducing changes to work arrangement that will, unfortunately, result in a reduction in headcount,” he added.

Tanmantiong said Jollibee was forced to lay off its office staff because the measures it has taken since the COVID quarantines started in mid-March this year have not achieved their goals.

“The store team optimization that we implemented this month was aimed to ensure greater efficiency in labor utilization per store, However, we continue to fall short in generating the required revenues to support the current manpower complement due to a depressed economy and weak purchasing power of our base customers,” saidTanmantiong.

Jollibee has already closed 255 stores as of June 30 this year after absorbing a P12 billion loss in the first half, a stunning 578 percent reversal from year ago level. Up to 69 percent of its local stores were closed during the quarantine period.

Although 88 percent of its stores have opened since lockdowns were eased in June, virus-weary customer were scarce in its branches as it derived its sales mostly from deliveries and takeouts.

“In the Philippines, recovery has been slow because of lack of public transportation,” said Jolibee in its first half report to stockholders.

Tanmantiong, who did not cite the number of affected employees, said those who would be culled from the roster had been informed and that Jollibee would provide them with “support in their transition.”

“Always take pride that you have been an integral part of helping Jollibee what is is today,” Tanmantiong said.

In the same letter, Tanmantiong struck an optimistic tone for employees who would keep their jobs.

“We are already seeing markets outside of the Philippines that are slowly recovering and some markets are back to positive growth. I believe in our ability to turn around and fight this health crisis…JFC will emerge stronger after this pandemic,” Tanmantiong said

Jollibee suffers biggest loss in its history

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