‘Enjoy,’ a delivery startup that is run by a former Apple executive and which recently went public via a SPAC, may not be able to pay its workers money they are owed, according to a cache of internal Slack chats and emails obtained by Motherboard.
Workers started speaking out on Enjoy’s company Slack this week after receiving an email from the company indicating that Enjoy might not be able to pay them at the end of the month.
“As Ron shared, we hope to be in a position for employees to be paid the amounts they are due. Unfortunately, given our current cash outlook, we are unable to provide any specific assurance at this time,” a screenshot of an internal message obtained by Motherboard reads. Ron refers to Ron Johnson, CEO and Founder of Enjoy and a former senior vice president of retail operations at Apple, where he oversaw the company’s rollout of retail stores and its Genius Bar. The possible payment issues appear to impact Enjoy workers in the UK, according to the Slack messages Motherboard has obtained.
The reams of messages show a workforce that is generally concerned about not being paid for work they’ve already performed, and potentially losing their jobs as well. The internal message that said Enjoy might not be able to pay some workers added that “if redundancies do occur, you won’t be entitled to any redundancy or notice pay if you resign before you are given notice of redundancy.”
“I find myself worrying about paying my bills. Can we get some clarification about the financial situation, please?” one Slack message from a worker starts. “If Enjoy is in fact operating at a loss than [sic] we should turn off the tap before it gets worse and allow everyone that has been part of the UK branch to get paid what they are owed in due time. I hope Leadership will finally take a stand and put us all at ease once and for all. This is emotionally draining really. Thank you for your consideration.” The screenshots Motherboard obtained are of Slack channels that include messages posted by a wide range of people.
Do you work at Enjoy? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy and Johnson have enjoyed flashy coverage in The Wall Street Journal and the company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. It went public in October 2021 through an SPAC.
Enjoy is a mixture of a delivery service and a tech support team. It operates what it describes as “mobile retail stores” for telecommunications companies in the U.S., UK, and Canada. When a customer wants a product from one of these companies, rather than a cardboard box arriving on someone’s doorstep, Enjoy sends a worker to the customer’s home who comes with a selection of products. If the customer does purchase something or they already ordered an item online, Enjoy then helps the customer set the new device up. These workers are called “experts” and have been hired from already established retailers, such as Apple and Tesla, The Wall Street Journal noted in its coverage.
The aim is to bring “the full store experience through the door,” Johnson says in a video made by Enjoy that explains its offering. In the video, Johnson says he had the idea for Enjoy after observing Uber and Airbnb. “Maybe we could bring the entire retail store to the home.”
The company is currently focused on telecommunications and electronics, but the video shows other sectors that Enjoy could target next, including home fitness, vehicles, tailoring, and makeup. In the video Johnson described Enjoy as “the next disruption in commerce.”
Internally, Enjoy is facing its own waves of disruption.
“We are all guessing and trying to not let the rumor mill spin out of control,” one Enjoy employee told Motherboard. Motherboard granted multiple sources in this article anonymity to speak more candidly about internal Enjoy issues.
“I’m going gym tomorrow after clocking in. Shoulders and back. Then sauna. Unless some clarity on pay,” another expert wrote in an internal Slack message.
“Workers have went on strike for less,” another added. Another posed what they said was a very simple question: “Are we in the UK going to get paid for at least all of the work that we have done?”
Someone else posted the hashtag “#AreWeGettingPaid30thJune.”
Earlier this month, the company’s interim chief financial officer quit. In its quarterly report published in May, Enjoy said it was exploring a sale or other alternatives such as filing for bankruptcy or entering liquidation. Enjoy’s stock was down 50 percent in May. Although that is a dramatic dip, stocks are generally suffering at the moment and multiple tech companies are laying employees off.
To its experts, Enjoy has been largely silent, with many of the internal Slack messages requesting more information from the company.
Enjoy did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.
Ironically in his video, Johnson lists some of the ways to maintain high standards across Enjoy. The third item on the list, after hiring “great people,” is “you got to compensate them fairly.”
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