N.O. Restaurateurs Pivot to Healthcare During Crisis

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NEW ORLEANS – Here’s a successful pivot: QED Hospitality co-owners Emery Whalen and Brian Landry have temporarily shut down their food and beverage outlets in New Orleans (Jack Rose, Hot Tin, Bayou Bar and The Parlor at the Pontchartrain) and Nashville because of COVID-19. Instead, they created QED Resources, a company that supplies workers for virtual call centers to help convert in-person doctor visits to tele-health appointments. 

Whalen’s brother Ralph is a healthcare consultant who tipped her off to the need and the opportunity to work with his own healthcare consulting company, Divurgent. She and Landry created their new company on March 18 and five days later they had hired more than 100 of their QED hospitality employees to work the phones. Now the duo hopes to replicate the model nationwide.

“Our goal isn’t to just create new temporary jobs; we want to preserve the economic infrastructure that provided the jobs in the first place,” said Ralph Whalen. “This is about supporting both our partners and the communities they’re working so hard to protect.”

Whalen said that QED Resources employees are currently serving hundreds of patients per day while working from home. Most are earning wages at least equal to their previous positions.

Categories: COVID-19, Dining/Entertainment, Food, Healthcare, Today’s Business News