Beyond Meat Inc. was moving into its new 300,000-square-foot headquarters in the Los Angeles area last month when it laid off about one-fifth of its workforce, the second round this year.

Ethan Brown, the company’s chief executive and founder, assured employees at a town hall a day later that a more focused version of his plant-based food company would thrive. He compared Beyond to Starbucks Corp. and Martin Cooper, an inventor of the cellphone, saying people thought they would fail, too.