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food program

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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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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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