Posts Tagged :

catering

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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 www.platterz.ca.

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Year in Review: The Top 18 of 2018

Read Time: 4 min

Just in time for the new year, we’ve rounded up this year’s most popular catering, craziest cravings and unexpected events. From the most loved Mexican restaurant on the platform, to liquid nitrogen snacks, check out the top 18 Platterz facts of 2018!

Drum roll please…

1) Number of Meals Served in 2018: 1.88 Million

Is it just us, or does the number 18 seem to be popular this year? Since January, Platterz has served more than 1.8 million (and counting) meals to offices across the continent.

2) Number of Offices Fed: 1,200+ Offices

We grew from 40 employees to 140, from the East coast to West coast, and boosted company culture in over 1,200 offices across North America. Imagine what we can do in 2019.

3) Top Cuisine: Mexican Food

From DIY taco bars to chips and guac, the office favourite cuisine goes to Mexican food, ordered more than any other type of food on Platterz (and there are hundreds to choose from)!

tacos

4) Most Creative Meal Combo:  Liquid Nitrogen Apple Fritters and Liquid Nitrogen S’mores

Yes, liquid nitrogen food is a real thing. One office even paired it with a cocktail mixology class for their team!

5) Top Event Type: Family-Style Lunch

People say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but we beg to differ! Taking a break in their day is when teams are happiest, and what’s more important than that?

6) Most Ordered Caterer: Craft Kitchen

From sandwiches and salads to platters and pastries, this Toronto-based corporate caterer was the most loved by you!

7) Top Dessert: Ice Cream Sandwiches

It may be chilly outside, but that’s not stopping us from dreaming about pralines & cream ice cream stuffed in an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. With the most ordered dessert going to ice cream sandwiches, it doesn’t seem like it’s stopping you either.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

8) Top Lunch: Greek Salad & Plates

Ios? Mykonos? Santorini? Rather than hop on a ferry, offices chose Greek cuisine as this year’s most frequently ordered lunch. If we weren’t already, now we’re really dreaming of a vacation.

9) Largest Offsite Event: 1,250 Guest Count

Between booking the venue, arranging rentals, planning the decor, and providing the catering (of course), Platterz Event Specialists made lasting memories for companies celebrating any special occasion this year!

10) Most Popular Office Snack: Branded Cupcakes

You can never go wrong with chocolate or vanilla, but there’s nothing like custom cupcakes baked just for your team, for any celebration.

Cupcakes

11) Number of Orders For 1 Client: 2,620 Orders

To put it into perspective, that’s 7 orders per day over the span of 2018!

12) Most Unique Party Request: Dunk Tank

At Platterz, we stop at nothing to provide offices with their dream event. From bouncy castles to life-sized Jenga, we made it all happen, no matter how unexpected the request.

13) Top Food Trend: Poke Bowls

Fresh fish, seaweed salad and a little soy sauce go a long way for employees, and we have a feeling Poke isn’t just a fad.

Poke Bowl

14) Shortest Time Placing an Order: 8 Seconds

That’s really how fast you can check out an order on the platform. We’re not exaggerating.

15) Most Last-Minute Order: 45 Minutes in Advance

We received an email with a last-minute catering request for a meeting of 150 people. 45 minutes later, the food was delivered, served hot and ready to eat. True story.

16) Top Food Holiday: World Chocolate Day

Offices with a sweet tooth is a recurring theme, with World Chocolate Day being the busiest food holiday of the year, occurring on July 7.

Chocolates

17) NEW Lines of Code Written: 1,021,472

Not only did the Platterz’ Developer team grow 3x in size, the team wrote over 1 million new lines of code to make ordering on Platterz seamless!

18) Hungriest City in North America: Toronto, Canada

Torontonians sure do love to eat!

Thanks for a record-breaking 2018! Share Platterz’ roundup with your team, and place an order to hit the top of the charts for next year!

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The Top Five Food Trends For Fall

It’s true: social media feeds are FULL of food these days. Are we the only ones drooling over the almost-too-pretty-to-eat avocado toast and charcoal soft serve? We doubt it. That’s why, we’ve rounded up the top five food trends for Fall, so you can stay up to date with what’s hot this season as the temperatures begin to cool down and you prepare for Autumn in the office.

Inspired By The Beach

Poke Bowls

What’s colourful, fresh and always has us thinking of the ocean breeze? You guessed it, Poke Bowls are here to stay. At this point, they’re more than a fad; they’re a trend that has become so common, we can’t imagine life without them. The trend of mixing the freshest raw fish with tangy fruits, soya sauce and seaweed salad isn’t going anywhere this fall—if anything, it’s only getting more popular. Keep the taste of summer freshness alive for the rest of the year and try out a custom Poke Bowl for the office! Not a fan of fish? There are vegetarian options that’ll still leave you dreaming of the Hawaiian sands.

Planted in Protein

Plant Burger

Meatless Monday’s are soon to become more than just a Monday thing, especially if you’re at a WeWork. Regardless of whether you’re a meat lover, or prefer to meat the team (see what we did there?) over tofu and tempeh, ensuring that your meal is full of protein is essential for fuelling your day. Since it’s so important, there have been so many new food items introduced into the protein lineup. And, guess what… They’re plant based! Now, before you’re thrown off by the idea of eating more ‘earth’, take it for a test drive. From chickpea burgers to tempeh steaks, these meat alternatives are nutritious and delicious options for all team members with dietary restrictions (or those who just want to try something new).

Childhood Favourites

Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled cheese. Mac ’n’ cheese. Chicken fingers and french fries. The list of foods that remind us of the kids’ menu at our local diner are making a serious comeback, but this season they’re back with an adult upgrade. There’s nothing better than that feeling of nostalgia: feeling like you’re six years old again and a french fry with ketchup was the most delicious. Think again. These ‘grown-up’ versions of our childhood favourites are sticking around for the rest of 2018. Roasted sweet potato fries, lobster mac ’n’ cheese, chicken strips and ciabatta flatbreads are just a few of the trendy items added to the list.

Keep Up The Energy

Dates oatmeal balls

At Platterz, we’re keen on encouraging the team to take a break and sit down together for a meal. But, we know your time is precious and every second counts. For those days that a meeting runs late or you’re on the go, it’s important not to forget about providing your body with the energy it needs. Hot on the list for Autumn are these energy balls, made to power you through your busy schedule. With natural ingredients and low calories, little bite-sized snacks can have a large impact on your productivity—no wonder they’re growing in popularity!

Harvesting From The Farm

Pumpkin Pie

It comes as no surprise that foods straight from the farm are in season, harvesting away in your local restaurant and on your social media feed. It’s prime time for the flavours we crave to make us feel cozy, comfy and chock-full of deliciousness. Imagine corn on the cob to start, apple or pumpkin pie to top it off, and a turkey sandwich to fill up in between—trust us, you’ll fall hard for these foods. Locally-grown ingredients that are fresh off the farm will be trending as the leaves change colour, up until the first Canadian snowfall.

This season, cater your team any of these on-trend foods and they’ll be sure to eat it up!

Be sure to keep up with these trending topics and foods straight from the source, and sign up for what’s Fresh at Platterz.

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It’s Not a Myth: Aaamazing Salad is Truly Amazing

Aaa·ma·zing Sa·lad

/AHˈmāziNG ˈsaləd/

When moving to Canada from China eight years ago, chef-owners Eva and her husband, Jacky, wanted to do something AH-mazing. Fast forward eight years, Aaamazing Salad is a booming healthy spot in Toronto’s trendy Kensington Market. One being a chef and the other boasting an art background, this dynamic husband and wife duo creates colourful healthy salads that appeal to not only the eye, but also the body.

“In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad

When first moving to Montreal, Eva and Jacky walked past a salad restaurant that had a lineup out the door. Coming from China, the two of them never thought that salad could serve as a main dish, nor be a restaurant’s main focus–they only viewed it as an appetizer. “In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal,” says Eva. With a young daughter, who they wanted to grow up living a healthy lifestyle, the couple was inspired by this Montreal spot, and thought ‘we can do this too’!

“It’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.”

Kensington Salad Shop, owners Eva and JackyAfter diving deeper into health and nutrition research, Eva and Jacky started experimenting with nutrients and various healthy flavours. “We try to match tastes together, while also thinking of everybody’s’ [nutritional] needs. I also love the colours of vegetables,” Eva explains as she compares salad to a piece of art. When asked about the name of her restaurant, Eva explains “it’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.” We can attest that her salads are AH-mazing indeed!

“We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad
In 2014, Eva and Jacky opened Aaamazing Salad. Prior to opening, Eva explains that they worked on developing their asian sesame dressing for more than one and a half years, and continue to perfect it, four years later. Eva and Jacky use the same approach in developing their whole menu; they are always working to improve the taste and ingredients of their product. “Quality [of ingredients] is really important,” explains Eva. “We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

“We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there.”

Preparing SaladThe items on the menu all start with an idea. “We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there,” describes Eva. Their popular (and delicious) Rocket Bowl began with a chickpea sauce. “Step by step we add ingredients”, such as eggs and avocados which are key items in the Rocket Bowl.

“Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies.”

Aaamazing Salads Kensington Market
Aaamazing Salad heard about Platterz from another local spot, Toronto Popcorn Company, who serve gourmet popcorn flavours—including Maple Bacon Popcorn. Yes, you read that right—just across the street from Eva’s restaurant. “Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies,” denotes Eva on our working relationship. “Platterz focuses on both their customers and their partnerships, making sure both parts are happy.  We can really feel it. I’ve had a really good experience working with Platterz, and give a lot of thanks to Platterz for our business.”

Healthy Salads
Eva made us feel so at home during our visit, and ensured we did not go hungry either. She sent us home with enough salad to feed our team for a week (not to mention it was incredibly delicious AND colourful).

What are you waiting for? Bring some healthy colour into your office—people will love it, we promise!

For behind the scenes footage from our shoot, check out our Instagram page highlights!

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Instagram: @aaamazingsalad

City: Toronto, Ontario

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How To Use Graphic Design To Improve Office Culture

When it comes to improving office culture, we all know the big guns – a great meal plan, fun team outings, smart office décor, and cool perks. But what about the small, day-to-day ways to create a sense of belonging among your team?

Cue the graphic designers: those creative beings who are known for pointing out bad font usage, yelling at you for using a pixelated image, and being extremely particular about the type of pen they use. Their super power lies in the fact that they can create work of any scale that can delight, inform, motivate, inspire, and teach. From a tiny sticker to a huge poster, graphic design has the power to bring people together, foster a sense of belonging, and help boost office culture. Check out our favourite office design ‘perks’ your team will love:

Desktop Wallpaper

Desktop wallpaper

Those stunning MAC desktop backgrounds are hard to beat, but what about designing equally beautiful wallpapers using inspiring imagery that represents your brand’s core values? You can also incorporate your brand’s fonts by adding inspirational quotes, reminders to stretch, take breaks, or move toward your team’s (or company’s) next milestone. Keep your eyes on the prize, literally.

Office Signs

Desk sign

Branding plays a big role in a company’s culture, so why not apply it to signs around the office and bring a sense of humour to everyday situations? Some people need to really focus when they are working, particularly in modern, open-concept offices. Designing a fun desk sign your coworkers can put up next to their computers when they need to be ‘in the zone’ is a great place to start. Use cute graphics to add humour, and apply the same approach to reminder signs around the office (we’re all guilty of leaving dishes in the sink!), or even create clever name tags for your boardrooms.

Cute Stickers

Laptop Stickers

Let’s admit it, stickers are awesome! Everybody loves them when they’re beautiful, relevant, and funny. They’re an easy, budget-friendly way to let everyone feel like they’re part of the team and proudly flash the squad stamp. Stickers have a ton of versatility in terms of materials, shapes and sizes. Whether they’re just your company’s brilliant logo, slogan, in-house lingo, or inside joke, these labels can live happily on laptops, water bottles, phone cases, or stationery. Stick with this idea, we promise the team will love them!

Wall Posters

Wallposters in office

Wall décor can really enhance a room and impact how people feel in an office space. Motivate and inspire your team by designing a series of posters based on quotes that resonate with your company’s values. You can even get your team to submit ideas, or interview your leaders for some words of wisdom. Your team will have a visual reminder of why they love working there and what they aim to achieve. Unity in emotional and mental states is a powerful thing that strengthens teams. Bonus: add a pop of colour and a modern feel through a marriage of bold type and colour blocks.

Notecards

Custom branded notecards

Handwriting is one of the most personal ways of communicating. To encourage people to take a much needed break from all things digital, design your own in-house branded notecards. On the front, you can keep it simple and use your company’s logo, or imagery relevant to your brand. Leave the back blank for personal messages to thank a teammate, give compliments for a job well done, or to simply say hi to someone working on a different floor (extra humour points: include a return address with the floor you’re on). Not to mention these notecards can also be used for external communication with clients!

Swag

Canvas bag with company logo an slogan

Surprise your team with branded swag they can use in their day to day life in and outside of the office. Think: reusable water bottles, tote bags, gym bags, apparel and stationery. A graphic designer will know just the right amount of branding these various items need in order to remain stylish, so your team will love wearing them and showing them off. Swag will not only make your team feel appreciated and celebrated, but will contribute to great office culture. It’s always a good idea to include the team in the design process of these items and get their feedback to make sure they align with everyone’s style.

Feeling inspired? Chat with your design team and find out what ideas they might have to help boost your office culture! Truth be told, these small ways really do help create the bigger picture of a great company culture. Think of each piece of branded office design as if they were words, combining to form a language. This shared ‘language’ is what ultimately bonds a team and turns it into an unstoppable, motivated, and genuinely connected powerhouse!

If you haven’t yet, take a look at our tips on desk décor for more inspiration on how to use design, colour and techniques to make your day as productive as can be.

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How the Platterz Founders Use Passion to Cultivate Community

READ TIME: 4 min

“The history is what made us who we are.”

From a quick coffee meeting turned 8-hour business brainstorm, Platterz co-founders Eran Henig and Yishay Waxman have used their infinite passion to build an international team of innovators, entrepreneurs and dreamers—a team driven to lead the way in the office culture revolution.

We sat down with our CEO & President to uncover how they’ve grown a successful company into a culture-fuelled community, why they believe in work as family, and what the future—for Platterz, for offices, for employees—holds.

“Everything in life is timing.”

Why start Platterz?

Y: When Eran and I met for the first time sitting at a Starbucks, we weren’t even talking about business. After working in offices that ordered the same food, from the same places, we shared the same curiosity: ‘There has to be something easier, where the food changes, and so does the standard office environment.’

Where do you see Platterz going?

E: Platterz is going to make a global impact about how companies are treating employees and managing culture needs in the office. It’s a one-stop shop for any corporate service.

Y: If I had a crystal ball into the future, I see Platterz fuelling more than just food [it’s our anchor]. Companies will engage with the platform across all regions in multiple facets.

What is your one wish for Platterz employees?

E: That they will never see us as work. That they’re not driven by numbers, but rather, come to the office with a smile, and create something great as if it were a hobby.

“When it’s built in a way from the ground up, where everyone treats it as their own—because it is their own—the chances of success are that much greater.”

Why is changing office culture so important to you?

E: People work really well and create when they’re in an environment that helps express themselves and identify who they are. That can only happen when they’re given the place to collaborate with people of different mindsets. The togetherness is what makes people care.

Y: You spend so much time in the workplace—often more than your actual house. You want to feel comfortable coming to work, and want to work with people you respect, look up to, enjoy eating and speaking with—and that transforms into the environment, which trickles down into culture.

Eran Henig and Yishay Waxman

Eran Henig, left and Yishay Waxman. Photo courtesy of Financial Post.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Y: Passionate. The passion that I have also translates into the feelings that I wear on my sleeve – I care so much about Platterz and its people that it’s like another child of mine.

What are you most proud of, and why?

E: Our team. By far the biggest achievement we’ve had is bringing together 100+ individuals that care so much.

Y: When a group of strangers who have never met each other come in [to town] for a company barbecue, or message another team member they didn’t know a few months ago — that’s what makes me the proudest in the world.

“The more you reinvent yourself, the stronger you are in knowing your skills, creating a strong foundation for a very strong team.”

How do you encourage creative thinking?

E: Exposing the team to a lot of different concepts. Even those ideas that might not be practical or ready to produce, but it gets them to challenge what they thought before. Being unbiased towards the effort they put into something is important to keep improving themselves.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

E: I’d experiment early. With everything; never staying attached to a place, an idea, the work I’ve done. There should be no mental boundaries or barriers to hold you back from what you create.

What would you tell future entrepreneurs, dreaming of landing their big break?

Y: Don’t be scared to fail. You might not get it right the first time, but don’t give up.

“It’s not about a lucky break… We create our own luck.”

The Platterz story is just beginning. Read more about how we’re helping local businesses grow, fostering positive relationships, and on a mission to boost office culture.

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Unicorn Sprinkle Cupcakes
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Unicorn Magic Awaits at Toronto’s CutiePie Cupcakes

READ TIME: 4 min

Sugar, spice, and everything nice. Cotton candy, cupcakes, sprinkles, happiness, and unicorns. CutiePie Cupcakes—a magical Toronto cupcake shop—is unlike any other cupcake shop we’ve seen before. CutiePie Cupcakes opened in 2009 and has infused unicorns and happiness into their menu, all the while playing rap music, in a bright pink bakery located in Toronto’s downtown core.

CutiePie Menu

CutiePies are “cute little cupcakes inspired by your favourite pies, treats, and desserts—that’s why they’re called CutiePies,” explains owner Melanie as she speaks to the store concept. “I thought of combining fun flavours, classic desserts, and items that really hit home with people, and turning them into mini cupcakes.” The idea began with CutiePies and the menu has since expanded into ChubbyPies and WhoopiePies, with gluten free and vegan-friendly options. Not-to-mention the Latte-Pie, which quickly became known as the “Unicorn Latte” by local customers.

“People have come in from all over the world to try it”.

The Unicorn Latte has received international attention—having come out before the Starbucks infamous Unicorn Frappuccino. “People have come in from all over the world to try it,” says Melanie. We’ll admit, it’s most definitely taste-test approved by the Platterz team!

“It’s all about connecting with people—a box of cupcakes is designed to be shared.”

World Famous Unicorn Latte
“I think dessert is something that makes people feel good and happy,” explains Melanie. “It’s all about connecting with people—a box of cupcakes is designed to be shared.” This point hit home with us at Platterz as our mantra is to connect people over shared food experiences (including cupcakes). “Dessert in general lightens the mood and brings people together,” says Melanie. We couldn’t agree more!

CutiePies

CutiePie Cupcakes exudes happiness and colour amidst their treats and in-store experience. From their “Happiness Wall” (where visitors write about what brings them happiness) to a magical unicorn wishing globe (where all your dreams come true) CutiePie Cupcakes is more than a cupcake shop; it provides an enchanting experience for customers.

“Music is number one.”

Happiness Wall

The magic begins early every morning, when the bakers arrive at the shop, and turn on rap music. “Music is number one,” says Melanie. As a proud Toronto bakeshop, CutiePie cupcakes often listens to Drake’s latest hits. “One of our hashtags is ‘#champagnecutie’, as a play on Drake’s social media persona ‘Champagne Papi’.” When asked if Drake has come into the store, Melanie remarks, “not yet”. So, Drake, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late—you can head over to CutiePie Cupcakes at 235 Spadina Road, Toronto. You will have the most magical cupcake experience yet (we promise)!

“It’s been awesome working with Platterz. It’s a great platform to connect us with the people [who] we want to see our menu and products. It extends our reach.”

CutiePie and ChubbyPie

“It’s been awesome working with Platterz. It’s a great platform to connect us with the people [who] we want to see our menu and products. It extends our reach,” Melanie says. The CutiePies and ChubbyPies are the most popular items on the Platterz platform, and you can seriously taste the happiness in each bite!

CutiePie Cupcakes Owner Melanie
Spread the happiness and bring people together over some unicorn magic in your office.

 

For behind the scenes footage from our shoot, check out our Instagram page highlights!

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Instagram: @cutiepiecupcakes_to

Website: http://www.cutiepiecupcakes.ca/

City: Toronto, Ontario

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How To Host The Happiest of Office Happy Hours

Summer is commonly known as Post-Work Drink Season, Patio Season, Leave-The-Office-Early Season, but here at Platterz, we call it Happy Season. What happens during Happy Season you might ask? For starters, they key is narrowing it down to an hour. That peak hour between 4:00pm-5:00pm on a Friday in August: one of—if not the most—happiest hours of the week. The team is preparing to head out of the office for the weekend, and people are starting to wind down after a week of hard work. We can’t think of a better way to kick off the anticipated weekend than with an office happy hour! Here are a few tools to help you plan the joyous occasion—that is, a Friday afternoon.

First things first: mark your calendars.  

 

calendar

It goes without saying that no one wants to have meetings late on a Friday afternoon. Just incase, it’s important to have this hour booked in your team’s calendar well in advance. If you’re looking to get creative, try out Canva, the super easy, super FREE web program that allows you to customize invitations. The best way to entice coworkers to attend (aside from the beverages and great company) is to make the invite clear, concise and most importantly, catchy.

Get mixing.   

Coworkers drinking at cocktail party

Before you get to mixing the cocktails, it’s key that everyone in the office gets to mix and mingle with one another. This is, in fact, what Platterz preaches every single day. To ensure that all employees are chatting not just amongst their respective teams, but with all of their coworkers, introduce a few interactive games and/or activities. Have you ever heard of Two Truths and a Lie? Try these conversation starters to help break the ice, or liven things up with old-school Music Bingo. There are so many ways to bring everyone together to collaborate, compete and communicate.

When hunger strikes, opt for light bites.  

cheese platter

4pm hits and the late-afternoon cravings kick in. The problem? You don’t want to spoil yours or anyone’s appetite for dinner. The solution? Plan ahead with a few bite-sized snacks and appetizers for your whole office to enjoy. For the elevated audience, pair wine with a cheese platter and fresh fruit. If your team is more of the cocktail crowd, how about an assortment of dips and canapés? Don’t worry if your office prefers the casual classics like sliders, pizza and chips. There’s more than enough for them too.

Last, but most definitely not least: the beverages.  

glass of beer
A pop-up bar? Yes, it exists. The easiest way to host an in-office, out-of-the-box happy hour is to bring the bar (and bartenders) to you through a bar service, such as SIPBAR. This includes certified bartenders, selections of craft beers, quality wines, premium spirits and custom cocktails—so custom that you can bring in a mixing station for your team to participate! Or, if you’re on a tight budget and plan to keep it low-key, visit the nearest liquor store and pick up a few cases of locally brewed beer or ciders. You can even think up a themed mocktail, or spruce up sparkling water; there are endless alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Happy hours should appeal to everyone in the office, because after all, they’re synonymous with bringing people together during the best time of the week!  

By implementing these four core elements into your office happy hour, you’ll end up with the reputation of being the office host with the most. Now we’re talking.

Want to turn your happy hour into happy hours and interested in planning your next office party? Platterz is here to help, so contact one of our Event Specialists to chat next steps.

Keep an eye out on FEED and on our social channels for a deep dive into how SIPBAR quickly became the one-stop beverage-shop that your event can’t live without.

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Booyah Ice cream
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Booyah: A One of a Kind Ice Cream Experience

Growing up in a house that was known by family and friends as “The Carnival”, it comes as no surprise that 24-year-old Blair Mincer, started his own ice cream and catering business inspired by his childhood. When asked why he opened Booyah Inc., Blair explains, “who doesn’t love ice cream? Everyone always comes in a good mood for ice cream”. Having always been a big dessert fan, it was an easy decision for Blair to open Booyah when he was looking for something to do during his summers off of school. Booyah, a gourmet ice cream shop, opened four years ago and is already a Toronto favourite.

“Everyone always comes in a good mood for ice cream.”

ice-cream cones

Using bits and pieces of Blair’s youth to influence his shop, Booyah felt like a childhood dream. With the smell of freshly baked cookies, sprinkle-covered ice cream cones, a soft serve ice cream machine (which Blair’s family had in his house growing up), and a large neon sign that spells out “BOOYAH”, we were so excited to learn about Blair and his catering business (and eat some ice cream too)!

“I knew right there. It was a sign.”

homemade cookies

The shop’s name, Booyah originated from a family friend who always shouted “Booyah” when playing board games together. Searching for the perfect name for his ice cream shop, Blair spoke with a friend of his dad’s, who out-of-the-blue suggested “Booyah”—a word that had already come to mean something in the Mincer household. “I knew right there. It was a sign,” remarks Blair.

neon booyah sign

“Some of our ice cream is Kawartha Dairy, and some I make myself.”

Having gone to school for political science and accounting, Blair landed himself in an unexpected yet exciting career; he is both a business owner and a self-taught ice cream expert. “Some of our ice cream is Kawartha Dairy, and some I make myself.” And, if anyone knows Kawartha Dairy ice cream… you know we’re talking serious ice cream quality. “I read a lot of textbooks about ice cream,” says Blair about his 25 (and counting) original ice cream flavours (including vegan flavours). He experiments with different recipes to create the “not-so-typical ice cream flavours” such as Strawberry Balsamic, Corn on the Cob, and Earl Grey.

“My ice cream has only 8 ingredients in it…”

ice cream scoop

“My ice cream has only 8 ingredients in it, and is not a list of 50 ingredients. It was important to me that I can pronounce all the ingredients I use in my ice cream.” Blair gave us a bit of an ice cream chemistry lesson as well; “ice cream has different qualities, by percent of fat, and I knew I wanted to be at the top. Super premium product has more fat than sugar, and my ice cream is at around 18-19% fat with 7-8% sugar.” You taste fats. When you pick up a bucket of regular ice cream and my ice cream, mine is about double the weight,” he explains as he speaks to the delicious creamy quality of his ice cream.

“I’ve had a lot of business I wouldn’t have had without the platform.”

ice cream cookie sandwich

Booyah joined Platterz this past May. “I’ve had a lot of business I wouldn’t have had without the platform,” explains Blair. “I don’t have to worry about collecting money, or any outstanding balances. It’s all taken care of by Platterz.” His most popular items through our catering platform are the ice cream sandwich platters, and has accommodated corporate events anywhere from 20 to 350 people through our platform. Booyah is able to cater over one thousand ice cream sandwiches at once (we’re drooling at the thought of what over 1000+ ice cream sandwiches would look and taste like).

Booyah ice cream sandwich platter

With our minds full of joy after hearing Booyah’s story, and our stomachs full of ice cream, we left Booyah pretty happy. Blair is right—everyone is in a good mood when ice cream is involved.

Thinking of hosting an ice cream party at your office? Order Booyah and bring some whimsical, ice cream magic to your team!

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top hat daily lunches
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The Platterz Effect: How Daily Lunches Feed Top Hat’s Culture

Top Hat, an education technology company, uses Platterz to order daily lunches for their constantly growing team of 320. We went to Top Hat to learn about their team, their company, and their time with Platterz!

Arriving just before lunch, we were welcomed into their bright, wide-open space. Their office was designed to encourage collaboration; on the layout of their space, Lydia, a Top Hat Office Coordinator explains: “There are no closed doors.” It was clear from the get-go that office culture is a priority for Top Hat—something we can definitely relate to here at Platterz.

open collaborative space

As two Toronto-based startups in the tech industry, we have had a long-lasting collaborative relationship with Top Hat, who has used our office catering platform since we first launched. Top Hat is the provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education. Top Hat’s mission is to make higher education more effective, affordable, and engaging. One of the ways they accomplish this is by making textbooks, test materials, and educational content right in the palm of students’ hands. “Students are on their phones anyway, so why don’t we just put the content right in front of them,” says Office Manager, Russ. He mentions that they designed their lunchroom to “make it more like school. Everyone comes down to eat together, no matter what department or floor. Everyone has room to eat together.”

daily lunches

“Hardly anyone ever leaves the office for lunch. Why would you ever need to go to a restaurant, if you know you’re getting delicious food at the office everyday?”

At Platterz, we are strong believers that when teams come together over shared meals, they’re happier, healthier, and more productive. Speaking to Top Hat’s lunch culture, Lydia emphasizes that “hardly anyone ever leaves the office for lunch. Why would you ever need to go to a restaurant, if you know you’re getting delicious food at the office everyday? Even if team members have lunch meetings they will ask if they can bring [external] people into the office for food.” Bringing lunch meetings in to the office to avoid missing out on delicious meals? We want in too!

“I think it’s those little things that make a big difference for employees.”

sharing meals

“I think it’s those little things that make a big difference for employees. They enjoy coming to work, and they feel provided for which incentivizes them to keep working really hard,” Lydia says. Platterz is here to make offices more human, so it was especially exciting for us to hear that this has been the case for Top Hat.

“We know how stressful it is to order food [just] one day for 300 people, whereas doing it every single day takes a lot—it takes a team, and it takes a platform.”

Lydia explains how hers and Russ’s positions are all encompassing, and that ordering food is made easy with our platform, taking a stressor off their plate; “We always joke that we do everything (we’re like plumbers, nurses, whatever it is, we do it), so if we also had to order food everyday and make sure that all allergies and tastes were catered to, we wouldn’t be able to pull it off as smoothly as Platterz does.” Russ adds, “We know how stressful it is to order food [just] one day for 300 people, whereas doing it for daily lunches takes a lot—it takes a team, and it takes a platform.”

top hat employees eating

We want to thank Top Hat so much for hosting us over their lunch hour. We loved getting to know their team better and seeing first-hand how Platterz has contributed to a positive work environment for their employees!

Interested in having Platterz cater to your office (daily lunches, food trucks, happy hours, etc.)? Be sure to create an event now! 

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