Posts Tagged :

food loves company

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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SIPBAR bar
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How SIPBAR Brings the Party to Your Office

Read Time: 3 Min

From an app concept to a booming full service business, SIPBAR began when brothers, Jack, Daniel, and Alex created a restaurant-rewards app while running pop-up bars in offices on the side. Bar bookings were filling up the brothers’ schedules, becoming the core of their business, causing the app to be put on hold. They saw an opportunity to create an elevated corporate bar experience that would change the way offices host events.

drinks

“[You can] create a bar that suits your specific event profile, and check out online, in less than two minutes”.

Our visit with SIPBAR was unlike any other—they invited us to their summer party (how lucky are we)?! Upon arriving, the brothers welcomed us as if we were longtime friends—offering us drinks and food, while live music was playing in the background. The event had all the ingredients for a lively party, complete with food from one of our most popular catering partners, Per Se Catering. We sat down with Alex and Edmund, SIPBAR’s Toronto City Lead. “Corporate event planners have a difficult time pulling together an elevated bar experience at a reasonable price for any event, while caterers don’t put as much effort into their cocktails and bar experience”, explains Alex. “SIPBAR.com, was the solution to that. [You can] create a bar that suits your specific event profile, and check out online, in less than two minutes”.

office party

“It comes down to the bartenders, the team, the cocktails, and the quality of ingredients.”

“We started building the business around an efficient high level scalable bar service”, Alex explains. “We have a wide range of productsanything from craft beer, premium wines, spirits, and a cocktail menu that changes season by season,” Edmund adds. SIPBAR puts an emphasis on customer service, ensuring that all clients have a bar experience that is unmatched by any other service alike. “It comes down to the bartenders, the team, the cocktails, and the quality of ingredients.”

sipbar bartender

“Having Platterz as a sales arm and marketing channel has a direct benefit.”

SIPBAR launched in January 2017 and began working with our team that October. We have had the honour of watching SIPBAR grow from the early stages all the way through to now, where they have officially launched in New York City (and are a part of our roster of NYC vendors as well). “I always feel like Platterz wants to learn more about our product to be able to promote us better on the [Platterz] site,” Edmund explains, speaking to our partnership. “Having Platterz as a sales arm and marketing channel has a direct benefit,” Alex adds. Platterz has unique offerings for our clients, especially through SIPBAR, so we were thrilled to hear such positive feedback. We have an upscale bar service that pairs well with any event, meeting, or happy hour—safe to say, SIPBAR and Platterz are a pretty killer team together.

SIPBAR party
With Fall officially upon us, we’re starting to plan for the holiday season (did we mention we can plan your office holiday parties—for free?), and we’re thinking of all the amazing drinks and cocktails SIPBAR can add to your event. Looking for a custom cocktail? Get brainstorming, and let’s plan a party to remember.

 

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

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Instagram: @thesipbar

Website: https://www.sipbar.com/

Cities: Toronto & New York City

Veal Sandwich
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An Old School Favourite: California Sandwiches

Known for being one of the best sandwich restaurants in Toronto, California Sandwiches opened in 1967 and has been a local favourite ever since. Walking into their Dufferin and Castlefield location, we could feel the 51 years of restaurant service behind them—a busy team of kitchen staff cooking up sandwiches, meat lasagna, and salads. Regulars were coming in for their daily orders, and owner Joseph Papa happily greeted all his guests.

California Sandwiches Bag

We sat down with Joseph to hear about California Sandwiches’ long-standing (and not-to-mention very popular) history. Making us feel like a part of the family, Joseph brought us freshly made lattes, and offered us some sandwiches. We knew we were in good hands, good company, and surrounded by good food.

“The popularity [of the veal sandwich] was really demanding, and then we started selling sandwiches only.”

California Sandwiches Classic Sauce

“My family purchased a grocery store in the early 1960’s. All grocery stores at the time were also delis and sold sandwiches”, Joseph explains. “In the early 1960’s, my father hosted poker games in the basement of the grocery store, and the players asked for veal sandwiches. His mom said, ‘we can make those here’.” Soon after, the veal sandwich was added to the deli menu at the grocery store, and it quickly became a classic. “The popularity [of the veal sandwich] was really demanding, and then we started selling sandwiches only”, Joseph explains. The original location—244 Clairmont Street, closed as La Rinascente, and officially became the first California Sandwiches in 1967.  

“It definitely adds passion to the business.”

La Rinascente Original Menu 1967

Contrary to the popular saying, “don’t mix business with family”, the Papa family has shown great success over the last 51 years. All locations are family owned and run with all the key members of any family—yes, that means seeing and working with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings, everyday. “It definitely adds passion to the business”, says Joseph, while explaining the pride in maintaining a family legacy.

“Everybody [here] is treated like family, customers and employees too.”

California Sandwiches Salads

The familial aspect of the business goes beyond the operations side of California Sandwiches. “Everybody [here] is treated like family, customers and employees too. We have lots of regulars.” The sense of family was definitely in the air; Joseph greeted customers by name, and guests made casual conversation with him. We can relate to this here at Platterz; we view our whole team as a family, and loved seeing that California Sandwiches has a similar mentality—no wonder we get along so well!

“Our business has increased since working with Platterz… the Platterz team is very detail oriented, just like we are.”

California Sandwiches Sandwich

“Our business has increased since working with Platterz. We’re more well known now and are serving many offices who didn’t know us before”, says Joseph on our working relationship. This was quite the compliment coming from such a restaurant institution! Joseph adds, “the Platterz team is very detail oriented, just like we are”.

“We would never serve anything we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves.”


The most popular items on the Platterz corporate catering platform are California Sandwiches classics: the veal sandwich (the sandwich that started it all), the meatball sandwich, antipasto platter, greek salad, and roasted potatoes.

“It’s very hard not to eat a sandwich everyday. We would never serve anything we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves”, says Joseph. We can only imagine what it’s like being surrounded by California Sandwiches, sandwiches daily! We would definitely be tempted…

Make history with California Sandwiches at your office.

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Instagram: @californiasandwiches
Website: http://eatcalifornia.ca/
City: Toronto, Ontario