Will Wall Street Collapse Bring Down Food-Delivery Service?

What Jason Finger has nightmares about.
Photo: iStockPhoto.com

SeamlessWeb, the company that allows you to order food and have it delivered to your desk without ever having to talk to humans, has a significant client base on Wall Street. So what to do when all your customers lose their jobs or (gulp) brown-bag it? Send an encouraging e-mail to your staff! "Regardless of whether people are at work or away from work, they need to eat," says CEO Jason Finger. But we wonder about his suggestion to "be wary about the doom and gloom that will, no doubt, be headlining the newspapers naming our clients." Read the complete e-mail below.

From: Finger, Jason
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 11:24 AM
To: SeamlessWeb - All
Subject: Important Note

As many of you may be aware, the past several months in the capital markets have been filled with significant volatility, culminating over the past 24 hours with the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the shotgun sale of Merrill Lynch (on the heels of the forced sale of Bear Stearns just a few months ago). My heart goes out to the employees at those institutions and to our client contacts at each of those firms, many of whom I consider close friends. I want to take this time to assure you that, though these companies were amongst our largest corporate clients, our business remains and is expected to remain extremely strong. Regardless of whether people are at work or away from work, they need to eat. And, SeamlessWeb provides a highly efficient and cost-effective way for them to order food from local restaurants for both takeout and delivery. The busiest day in our company’s history was last week. And, we had been preparing for significant weakness in new demand for our services from the financial services industry for quite some time. Over time, all food ordering from local providers will be conducted online and we are perfectly positioned to benefit from this trend.

While we have all prided ourselves on providing world class customer service with each interaction with our clients, customers and partners, I want to underscore that these are extremely stressful times for the people who work in the industries that were early adopters of online ordering. In typical SeamlessWeb fashion, continue to go the extra mile for them and work with them to the best of your abilities to help them weather this storm. An extra smile during periods like this goes a long, long way. Great companies step up in challenging times and this current market situation is an opportunity for us to show the marketplace why we not only are the leader in our industry but also provide service and value at levels that are unparalleled in the marketplace by any provider.

So, please keep your head down and stay focused on your work. As you read the newspapers and watch the news, remember that reporters are paid to sell circulation, not necessarily report the facts and so you need to be wary about the doom and gloom that will, no doubt, be headlining the newspapers naming our clients. We have a very strong business. ARAMARK has an incredibly strong business. And, we are just getting started...


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