Lightspeed offers barista and free meals to lure its employees into the office

Headquarters expansion, massive hiring, free food and coffee – Lightspeed Commerce is sailing against the tide as many Canadian tech companies tighten their belts and end their urge to seduce professionals.

Posted at 5:14 p.m

Stephane Rolland
The Canadian Press

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the cloud computing specialist has almost doubled the space at its Montreal headquarters in the former Gare Viger to 8,640 square meters. The highlight of the renovated premises designed by the ACDF architecture firm is probably the coffee counter, where a barista serves the company’s employees.

At a time when teleworking has become a hiring argument, Lightspeed, which offers a flexible telecommuting policy, hopes its offices will contribute to employee satisfaction. “We wanted to create a unique experience when people return to work,” explains CEO Jean Paul Chauvet in an interview.

“We don’t force anyone to come, but we do a lot to ensure that people are there,” adds the manager. In the morning there will be breakfast. At lunchtime there is a variety of dishes, salads, sandwiches. We also have packed lunches in the evenings that you can take home with you. »

The company has approximately 300 open positions in Montreal, where 800 of its 3,000 employees work. “We are still in recruitment mode. In the last quarter there were 300 vacancies that we filled. There is constant growth. »

The Montreal company’s attention contrasts with the dark times many Canadian techno workers are going through.

Start-ups, accustomed to easily finding capital for their growth ambitions, have begun to tighten their finances due to the industry’s stock market debacle, rising interest rates and a return to a more “normal” life that has diminished manage consumer appetites for specific virtual services.

For example, ready meal specialist Goodfood Market announced a 2.8% job cut as the company lost customers amid health restrictions. For its part, fintech Wealthsimple recently put the hiring on hold.

The American web giants are also experiencing a new austerity policy. Netflix announced in May that it was laying off 150 employees, or 2% of its workforce, after noticing an initial drop in subscribers. Relatively unfortunate, Facebook employees, for their part, learned this spring that by not using the laundry service offered to them, they would have to do their own laundry.

A favorable context

For its part, Lightspeed is in a more favorable context. The relaxation of hygiene measures will benefit his customers in shops and restaurants, stresses Mr Chauvet. “People have such a desire to return to the physical world that this creates a lot of demand for our products for us. »

That appetite was reflected in the company’s most recent quarterly results, which reported revenue growth of 78% in the three months ended March 31. CIBC World Markets financial analyst Todd Coupland said the results support his optimistic thesis. “The market for small and medium-sized businesses for innovation is large, while the adoption rate of cloud computing is still low. »

The complexity for small businesses that need to manage their online presence concurrently with their physical activities represents a business opportunity for Lightspeed. “As people continue to shop and go online, it’s even more difficult for restaurateurs and retailers,” notes Mr. Chauvet . Our platform is even more in demand than before. »

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