"To help Yelp get through this period of great uncertainty, we have had to make some incredibly hard decisions to reduce our operating costs," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in an employee email that was posted on the company's website. "In all of our nearly 16 years, I've never seen a crisis of this magnitude and impact on our business."
The company will offer severance pay to employees laid off, as well as reimbursement for up to three months of health insurance coverage. Furloughed employees will retain most of their benefits and receive two weeks of additional pay, Yelp said.
Yelp said it has seen a dramatic decrease in consumer interest across the nation due to social distancing mandates. Interest in its key restaurants category has dropped 64% since March 10, while nightlife is down 81%, Stoppelman said.
"The duration and impact of this is unknown, but it will have a direct impact on our own revenues," Stoppelman added.
The company has already cut executive pay by 20% to 30%, reduced server costs and deprioritized projects. Stoppelman also forfeited his salary for the year.
The coronavirus has caused an increasing number of companies to layoff or furlough employees, as some people are mandated to stay at home to try and slow the spread of the virus. The Labor Department reported Thursday that 6.6 million Americans filed first-time unemployment claims last week, bringing the total over the past three weeks to more than 16 million.