Customer Spotlight

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Shopify’s Employee Experience Is Enhanced By Delicious Meals

Read Time: 4 min

Maintaining A Startup Culture

Leading commerce platform, Shopify, isn’t shy when it comes to doing things a little differently. A peek into their sprawling, 45,000-square-foot Waterloo office—an industrious former whiskey distillery and barrel warehouse, complete with a VR arcade—makes that much clear. Luckily, the company’s inclination for beating to their own drum shows in their track record, boasting a quick turn from online snowboard shop to successful international enterprise. The toss-up? As all too many tech giants know, keeping a small-company feel in an office with hundreds of employees can be a challenge.

As the Ottawa-based company grew, they aimed to keep core values like community and collaboration at the helm of their offices’ operations. Shopify set out to build spaces grounded in this philosophy, going so far as to design each office to spark accidental encounters between employees. When it came to embedding these values in Shopify’s meal programming, however, internal stakeholders like Culinary Partnership Manager, Bill MacTavish, looked for a solution that would complement their business mantra.

Implementing Change With Platterz

Putting intention into action, Shopify started working with Platterz in 2016 to develop and service their daily meal programming across multiple offices, moving away from the traditional in-house management model. Freeing up valuable time and resources, the switch has helped empower the company to go beyond just keeping employees well-fed.

Coworkers Eating

With a helping hand from a dedicated Food Expert for each serviced city, orders go from browsing to delivery without allocating any additional funds or effort. Since Platterz handles all logistics and coordination—whether it’s keeping each meal within budget, accommodating dietary needs, or ensuring that everyone has enough to eat—Shopify can focus on what really matters: the food and their people.

“The more we used it, the more we became comfortable with it. We don’t have to think about anything anymore.”

Picking their daily menus based on curated recommendations from Platterz, Shopify’s food and wellness teams can trust that every meal is set up for success, while still being able to experiment with new cuisines and local restaurants as a team. Catering through Platterz gives Shopify team members the opportunity to take a break from their day, spend time together, and spark up a conversation over a great meal.

“Enabling people to interact with people outside of their physical space, outside of their physical teams, encourages people to connect with others. Food has this effect.”

Coworkers Eating

Lasting Impact, Scalable Opportunities

Initially trialling Platterz just once a week in one city, today, Shopify’s Global Culinary Partnership Manager has expanded their services to multiple teams and offices across Canada for 99% of their daily breakfasts and lunches. In turn, Platterz opened its doors in Montreal, Canada, extending their reach to help cultivate the consistent employee experience that Shopify aims for across its offices.

Currently feeding more than 1,000 Shopify team members across the country daily, Platterz’ newest operating cities will soon be serving up daily meals and the memorable moments that come with them, in their offices internationally. In the meantime, the impact of Shopify’s meal programming can be felt back at their historic Waterloo office every day at noon, when employees from all corners of the building fill their plates, take a seat in the communal space, and come together over a delicious meal.

Welcome To Shopify!

When Shopify’s mantra—Make Commerce Better For Everyone—is combined with the Platterz mission—Feeding Offices Delicious Experiences—these organizations are one step closer to shaping the office culture revolution, together.

“I don’t HAVE to work [at Shopify]. I CHOOSE to work [at Shopify]. I choose to do so because of the culture and the people. We have a culture-based team—an employee experience.”

Learn how you can build your employee experience starting with a customizable food program at

Shared meals
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How ICF Olson Boosts Employee Well-Being Through Food

ICF Olson is a full-service customer experience agency, leading the way in marketing, advertising, and branding for companies such as Boston Pizza, WestJet, and Canadian Red Cross. With the mantra, “we think like people”, ICF Olson creates experiences that engage people holistically with brands by getting into the heads of their customers’ customers. They also think from their employees’ perspectives, tailoring each office experience to the work they do. A cornerstone of this development was discovering a food program their team would love—which, according to ICF Olson’s Office Manager Poonam Unia, was not an easy feat.

ICF Olson

Food as a Defining Piece of Office Culture

Scooters, karaoke nights, ping pong tables, and foosball are among the several perks at the ICF Olson office. They proudly boast amazing office culture, but there was a key piece of the puzzle missing—a well-rounded, exciting food program for their team. Putting employees first was a priority for Poonam, so bringing in a well-balanced, varietal food program was top of mind (something that aligned perfectly with Platterz). Making offices more human for thousands of companies, Platterz created a food plan customized for ICF Olson’s employees. Weekly Friday lunches lay the foundation for a meal program that would continue to enhance their employee experience and office culture for years to come.

Platterz Custom Food Program

“It’s been nothing but amazing. The online platform is so easy to use.”

Looking Forward to Delicious at Work

Feeding their entire Toronto office every Friday since 2016, weekly lunches have become an institution at ICF Olson. “They didn’t like the food [we had] before, and now they actually look forward to [Fridays],” Poonam says. “It’s been nothing but amazing. The online platform is so easy to use.” ICF Olson currently uses Platterz for their weekly lunches, meetings, and all office birthdays. “Any opportunity I can use [Platterz], I do, and I recommend it to anyone that I can,” Poonam explains.

ICF Olson Team Lunches

“We have dietary restrictions as well, which are very easy to account for on the platform.”

Simplifying office catering is at the heart of Platterz’ solutions. ICF Olson takes advantage of many of the intuitive features at the core of the Platterz platform, including the Meal Builder, SpendTracker and dietary-accommodating technologies. “We can try all [of] these different restaurants. We have dietary restrictions as well, which are very easy to account for on the platform,” explains Poonam. “Platterz helps our accounting department too. [Accounting] can easily track and look everything up online.”

Team Lunches

“Everyone’s happier. They look forward to [the food].”

Coming Together Over Shared Meals

When coworkers share meals amongst one another, it’s more than just enjoying something delicious and stepping away from their desks. Taking the time to socialize, communicate, and come together is the essence of an employee experience. For ICF Olson, such experiences happen all the time. “Everyone’s happier. They look forward to [the food]. One [employee] usually works from home on Fridays, and she specifically comes in for lunch,” says Poonam. “We used to have [the lunchroom] set up with separate tables. We now set up the tables so everyone can eat together.”

Team Lunch

Bring the team together over a shared meal at your office, and continue to improve the employee experience. Start by crafting a custom food program for your office with today.

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The 5 Online Tools Every Office Admin Needs in 2017

Staying on top of a project with several moving parts is never easy. But office admins do it every day – and when the moving parts are employees, things can get even tougher.

Good software helps, but with so many options available, how do you begin to choose?

Fortunately, there are helpful and easy-to-use technology solutions that can help you stay organized and increase productivity.

Below is a list of 5 tried-and-true tools you can access straight from your browser for a trouble-free 2017.

1. Say goodbye to paper invoices with Due

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Tired of dealing with paper invoices? Leave them behind for good by switching to Due, which makes collecting and making payments from any device painless.

Smart features help you stay on top of invoice statuses, automate recurring invoices, and process funds from payments faster.

Beyond efficiency, Due keeps things flexible and safe – so whether you and your clients are using debit, credit, or account funds, financial data is encrypted and secure.

2. Never forget a password again with LastPass

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LastPass is a Google Chrome extension that packs a big punch for the office admin who has enough to remember as it is.

Use it as a vault to securely store passwords and share them among office employees.

Save even more time by storing payment information or addresses to populate forms in a single click.

3. Manage Projects in Taskworld

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Taskworld lets you organize office projects, break them into delegated tasks, chat with team members, and track progress in one seamless interface.

Google Drive and Dropbox integration make it easy to share files amongst team members, and smart features like task-based document management keep even the organizationally-impaired up to snuff.

4. Stay connected to your customers with Insightly

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As an admin, you know that diligent customer relationship management is vital to the health of your company. If you’re still stuck using a spreadsheet to track leads and partners, you’re risking oversight on valuable members of your community, and on useful data.

Insightly streamlines CRM by organizing contact information and opportunities in one place.

Generate reports and mass email templates in-app, and take advantage of Insightly’s neat integrations for email and social media to keep correspondence and contacts’ content in a single interface.

5. Keep employees well-fed and productive with Platterz


When employees are happy, productivity soars and office culture thrives.

Keep your team well-fed and content with Platterz, a free office catering platform that lets you easily order shareable food for your team from hundreds of top restaurants and caterers.

With awesome features like customized menus that can accommodate all dietary preferences, advanced order scheduling, and online invoice tracking, sharing an office lunch has never been so satisfying – or so effortless.

Have you had experience using these tools? Do you have other favourite tools you use? Let us know in the comments below!

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Customer Spotlight: Sandra at Scalar

Discover the key to her success and why she’s one of our favourite customers


Name: Sandra        Company: Scalar       Role: Office Manager & Training Coordinator

About Sandra

Sandra has been ordering from Platterz for a few months now.

While we love working and interacting with all of our customers, dealing with Sandra is a pure joy. It’s clear that interacting with customers and building relationships is part of her job, because whenever she speaks with anyone on our team, they’re immediately in a better mood.

It’s obvious how much she cares about her job and her colleagues, and her effort to get them the best food for their meetings doesn’t go unnoticed.

We recently visited her at Scalar, and got to see her in action at the front desk. People can’t help but smile as they talk to her, and that’s exactly the way you’d want someone to be introduced to your company when they step into your office.

We sat down to chat, and I picked her brain to find out what makes her so successful at her job, and what it is about Platterz that has helped her succeed. Here’s part of our chat, condensed for brevity and clarity.

Platterz: How long have you been at Scalar?

Sandra: I’ve been at Scalar since 2008. I was employee 59 when I started with the company, and we’ve since grown to over 300 employees, so we’ve come a long way!

Platterz: What are some of your responsibilities with the company?

Sandra: I first started out as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, and was working as an office manager as well. Today, I’m the office manager and training coordinator, but I really do a bit of everything.

I’ve often been asked to put together a job description, and I always laugh because it’ll never be complete!

I can give a high level description of what I do, but my responsibilities are always changing and there are hundreds of little things I need to stay on top of so that things in the office are on track.

Aside from being an office manager, I’m also responsible for putting together our training calendars and coordinating and organizing training sessions for our customers, which I enjoy a lot.

Platterz: What do you enjoy most about your role at Scalar?

Sandra: I have to say, it’s probably the human interaction. I’ve thought about transitioning into different roles at Scalar, but I really enjoy the interactions I have at the front desk.

I’m the social, talkative type, and I really enjoy having that dynamic interaction with new people every day.

For the most part I think people enjoy dealing with me, and I like being the face of the company when they first walk into our office.

Platterz: What types of events do you normally order food for?

Sandra: There are two main types of events I order food for. For the most part it’s our training classes, and there are a lot of those. I also help coordinate the food for meetings that our sales reps have.

Platterz: What goes into planning these orders, what do you need to consider?

Sandra: There’s definitely a lot of thought that goes into planning these lunches!

I’m always coordinating multiple lunches for different meetings or training sessions, and I need to consider different types of cuisines, diets, and restrictions. It can get pretty challenging!

I really put a lot of thought and effort into making sure the food is good, and in order to do that I need to make sure I get enough notice…more than a few hours worth! That way I can make sure that everyone’s dietary preferences are met, and that we can get something interesting, not just pizza.

Platterz: What type of food were you ordering before you started using Platterz?

Sandra: Well, other than pizza, we were getting stuff that was fast and last-minute. We were ordering from places like Druxy’s, Pizza Pizza, Quiznos…basically fast food!

Platterz: And has there been any response to the difference in food since you started ordering with Platterz?

Sandra: Definitely! People have really taken notice at the quality and variety of food I’ve been getting compared to before.

I really need to consider that sometimes my colleagues are in meetings literally all day long, all week. If they’re getting the same stuff over and over again, it really gets tiring for them. They’ve definitely noticed and appreciated getting something different through Platterz.

Platterz: Is there any advice you’d give to other office managers in similar roles to yours, that need to order food to the office?

Sandra: I’d really encourage them to get as much information as they can about who their audience is for the meal. Find out as many details as you can so that you can make educated choices for food that they’ll love.

Finding out all dietary requirements beforehand is essential. The other piece of advice I’d give is to always order more than you think. If 10 people are supposed to show up, order for at least two more.

In my experience new people always show up unexpectedly, and even if I’ve ordered too much, we’ve never had an issue of too much food at the office! I’d much prefer to have leftovers than not enough food.

Also make sure you order far in advance. I need to keep track of so many different events and orders, so scheduling them in advance helps make sure I stay on top of everything.

Platterz: Would you say that Platterz has helped your experience with ordering catered food to the office?

Sandra: Yes, absolutely. It’s just been such an easy experience compared to before. I love the way the website looks, it’s so clean and easy to use.

You guys are so open to improving your service, and so open to making changes that suit my needs and our company’s needs.

For example, we needed an easy way to order drinks with our food, and you added that for us. When we needed an easier way to keep track of our upcoming events, or invoicing, you built those features for us.

Overall, you’ve been so accommodating, and it’s been a wonderful experience working with Platterz.

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Customer Spotlight: Crowe Soberman

How this accounting firm survives Tax Season

“We view Tax Season as “Before Platterz” and “After Platterz.” Everything is just so much easier, so much faster, and we just never have to worry anymore.”

We love to spotlight our customers to get to know them better, share their successes and tips on the job, and learn more about their experience using Platterz.

Names: Bernie & Vikki

Company: Crowe Soberman LLP

Roles: Supervisor, Facilities & Office Services (Bernie) — Office Services Assistant (Vikki)

About Bernie & Vikki

Bernie & Vikki were introduced to Platterz almost a year ago. We started working with them right before Tax Season, the busiest time for accounting firms like Crowe Soberman.

When we first started talking with Bernie & Vikki about how Platterz can help them order food to the office, we didn’t anticipate how badly they would need our help. During Tax Season, many of the accountants stay late and need dinners ordered for the week through March and April. This was a big task for Bernie and Vikki to manage on their own, and we were delighted to help make their lives easier.

We were constantly amazed at how cool and calm Bernie & Vikki are in their roles, even when they’re ordering food for almost 100 people every night. They have the entire operation down to a science: they know the best places to order from that makes everyone happy, what time the food needs to arrive so that it’s never late but doesn’t get cold, and how to make sure that everyone who stays late gets fed.

Halfway through Tax Season we checked in with Bernie and Vikki to get their feedback on Platterz, and to find out how they manage to keep Crowe Soberman running like a well-oiled machine amid the late nights, mounds of filing, and tons of food.

They expressed a strong admiration for Platterz, and how much easier we’ve made their lives during Tax Season. For us, it’s been rewarding to see how a lot of the new features on Platterz have modernized some very time-consuming processes that they were doing manually.

Below is part of our chat, condensed for brevity and clarity.

The Role

Platterz: How long have you been at Crowe Soberman?

Bernie: I’ve been here since 1997, so I’ve been with the firm for 19 years.

Vikki: I joined in 2004, so for me it’s been 13 years.

Platterz: Wow! I could tell that this wasn’t your first Tax Season. Can you walk me through your roles?

Bernie: We do a bit of everything there. We run the file room, we take care of all the supplies for the office, handle all the scanning and photocopying — which there’s a lot of — manage the off-site storage room, and generally all the other day-to-day things that keep the office running.

Vikki: It might sound simple but there are a million little things that we look after that most people wouldn’t think about. If we didn’t do these things, most of our colleagues would have a very hard time!

High Expectations

Platterz: Of all these tasks that you’re constantly taking care of, what’s the most challenging part of your role?

Bernie: Managing people’s expectations.

Vikki: Exactly. People have very high expectations that anything they need will get done the moment they ask for it. Our biggest problem is that we actually do get it done! We sort of shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes.

Bernie: It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a challenge. We sometimes get tricky last-minute requests, and it’s up to us to make sure it gets done on time.

Platterz: That’s definitely a challenge. How do you mitigate people’s expectations compared to what you can realistically accomplish?

Vikki: We’ve really learned to work as a team to make sure we’re able to accommodate everyone’s requests. We overlap our lunches so that there’s always someone on-hand to get the job done.

Great People Make All the Difference

Platterz: What do you both enjoy most about working at Crowe Soberman?

Bernie & Vikki: The people!

The people here are great. We often say that if you can’t get along with the people in the office, there’s likely something wrong with you, not everyone else.

Vikki: As hard and as demanding as our roles are, we really feel appreciated for the work that we do, and that’s what keeps us going.

Bernie: The culture here has changed, which is partially what led to our daily dinners.

Vikki: Before, each floor would eat separately, and each day of the week a different floor would get dinner. Today, all the departments come together and we all eat dinner on the same floor, every night.

Dinners During Tax Season

Platterz: So how has that transition affected you? What’s your experience like with ordering food during Tax Season?

We look at Tax Season as “Before Platterz” and “After Platterz”

Vikki: Before we started using Platterz ordering dinner every night for this many people was challenging. We’d be spending hours every day figuring out how many people we needed to order for, trying to think of where to order from, and spending way too much time on the phone communicating these large, complicated orders.

Bernie: Another issue we were having was getting portions right. We were always worried that there wouldn’t be enough food because we didn’t know how many people would show up, so we would order way more than we needed. We would end up with way too much food, and it was just such a shame to have to throw it out the next day.

An Easier Way to Order

Platterz: So how has that changed now? Has Platterz made a difference?

Vikki: It’s night and day.

Everything is just so much easier, so much faster, and we just don’t worry as much.

Ordering every day for our entire firm was just too much work when we had to deal with individual vendors. It became way too hard to follow up individually every time; this is just so much easier.

Bernie: You guys have been extremely helpful throughout the process. You have some amazing vendors on board that we love, like Mashu Mashu and Craft Kitchen.

We used to order from a lot of these vendors on our own, but now having it all in one place just makes a tremendous difference. There really hasn’t been one dinner that we haven’t liked so far.

Platterz: That’s wonderful to hear! Do you have any advice for other people in your role who need to order food to their firms during Tax Season?

Vikki: Use Platterz!

Honestly, it’s true. Platterz is a great company, and your entire team are simply wonderful to work with. We couldn’t be more thankful.