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Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

ezCater, a Boston-based corporate catering startup valued last year at $1.25 billion, on Tuesday laid off more than 400 of its 900 employees, the company confirms to Axios.

The big picture: This is just the latest in a rapid series of major "unicorn" layoffs, particularly for companies servicing a market that has largely evaporated (in this case, hungry office workers).

ezCater's statement:

"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. We were crushing our 2020 plan, until coronavirus hit.
Now, we have to scale back until the world returns. We painstakingly identified the roles we need to be successful today and tomorrow, and are parting ways with over 400 employees across all four ezCater offices. That hurts. With each one of them, we are sorry to say goodbye.
Coronavirus is accelerating the move of restaurants and catering online. ezCater is well-capitalized and remains as ready as ever to help our catering partners grow their business and help our customers succeed. When business gets back to work, ezCater will be here to feed every kind of meeting."

Update: An earlier version of this story reported that the company began with 750 employees, rather than 900.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.