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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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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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Schnitzel Hub: A Traditional German Oktoberfest Celebration

With Oktoberfest just around the corner, what better way to celebrate the week-long event than with this go-to schnitzel spot, Schnitzel Hub? Walking into the restaurant we were greeted by owner Rita, who without a second thought, offered us a drink. Upon asking for a regular coffee, Rita, in classic Oktoberfest-fashion, insisted we had a beer. Never too early for a midday beer, right?

schnitzel hub pretzels and beer

Getting the Oktoberfest party started early, we sat down with Rita over a couple of beers to learn about how Schnitzel Hub came to be. “My husband Yan, is a chef and has been working for many years in hotels and restaurants. He gained enough experience to open his own restaurant,” Rita explains. While thinking of concepts for their own place, their son expressed his love for schnitzel, and asked if he could “live in Schnitzel Land.” Thinking that Schnitzel Land would be a great place—to eat and live—Rita and Yan opened their first restaurant in 2008, naturally named Schnitzel Land.

schnitzel hub restaurant

“We want to feed everyone.”

Schnitzel Land became Schnitzel Hub when they decided to evolve the restaurant into a more upscale schnitzel spot with a modern twist: German imported beers, customizable schnitzels, and upgraded appetizers. “You can customize your meal from the meat to the toppings,” including eggplant schnitzel as a vegetarian option. “We want to feed everyone. [We have] eight or nine schnitzels on the menu, including weekly specials. We have chicken, veal, pork, and eggplant schnitzel, that you can customize the toppings with, turning each it into a different meal,” says Rita.

schnitzel hub chefSchnitzel Hub Chef

“We bring lots of extra stuff [in] for Oktoberfest. People go crazy for it.”

We were eager to get to Schnitzel Hub’s favorite time of the year–that is, Oktoberfest. “We bring lots of extra stuff [in] for Oktoberfest. People go crazy for it.” This year, “the Oktoberfest sponsor is Hacker Pschorr”—quality German beer featured on tap. “We have pretzels, different sausages, sauerkraut, schnitzels, potato salad, and spaetzle”, which are all available on their Oktoberfest menu on our platform. Sounds like the perfect recipe for an exciting (and delicious) Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest menu

“Platterz brought us to the next level. Before even opening [our] restaurant doors [in the morning] you can already sell large amounts. It’s a big benefit.”

Being right across the street from Platterz headquarters, it was natural for us to connect. We started working together early on, after discovering them in our own backyard. “Platterz brought us to the next level. Before even opening [our] restaurant doors [in the morning] you can already sell large amounts. It’s a big benefit,” states Rita on our longstanding relationship. “It used to take me hours with clients to book catering. It would take us two days to feed offices with dietary restrictions. It saves a lot of energy, and is a great thing.” Our platform makes it easier on our caterers and customers to accommodate dietary restrictions, while also creating custom meals with our advanced meal builder technology. We were thrilled to hear Rita’s feedback, knowing we have made it easier for her.

schnitzel hub schnitzel

Bring on the pretzels, spaetzle, and schnitzel. So as they say in Munich, ‘ein prosit!’

 

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Instagram: @schnitzelhub

Twitter: @Schnitzel_HUB

Website: http://www.schnitzelhub.com/

City: Toronto 

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

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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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Emergency Zen: 4 Yoga Stretches to Practice at Your Desk

Read Time: 3 Min

While we should all aspire to have excellent posture, a perfectly ergonomic workstation, and find time to do a breathe exercise during the day, the reality is that our jobs get in the way. To remain zen, relieve stress and help you recharge, here are some yoga moves to keep you upright. Brownie points to those starting off team meetings with a group stretch!

Twist it Out

Seated twist

Plant your feet on the floor and sit up tall. Place your right hand on your outer left knee and twist your torso to the left.  As you inhale, sit up taller and as you exhale, rotate your ribs and shoulders to the left. Keep your right hip back as you turn. Take three deep breaths, then switch sides. You will know you are stretching too far if you can’t keep a steady breath and can see all the way to Martha in accounting.

Pigeon in a Chair

Seated pigeon

Start with both feet flat on the ground and place your left ankle just above your right knee. Maintain a straight back and flex your left foot. If you don’t feel a stretch, lean forward with your torso—we’re not talking head on your keyboard, just a slight stretch—without tilting to either side. Hold for five deep breaths, then switch sides.

Crescent Moon For Desk Neck

Crescent Moon

With arms over your head, place your palms together with your fingers stretched wide. Lean to the left for three deep breaths while keeping your shoulders down. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale continue to deepen the delicious stretch (sorry, we talk in ‘food’ here at Platterz). Feel the release of tension in your neck and shoulders.

Cow Face Clasp

Cow Clasp

With a bent elbow, take your left arm behind your head as you bring your right arm to your upper back. Bring your hands together if you can. If you can’t, move them towards each other and think about that lengthy to-do-list for an extra push (just kidding, this should be a small stretch!). Hold for three deep breaths and switch sides.

Hungry for more wellness in the office? Try desk pilates, a deep breathing practice, and décor for your desk.

Work up an appetite? Keep the zen going with some healthy eats; try a delicious salad, fresh poke or an acai bowl.

Namaste.

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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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