Office Manager Spotlight: Buzzfeed
This week we caught up with Rebecca, the current Office Manager at Buzzfeed UK, to talk about the troubles of office lunches, and how to transform them from a huge task, to a few simple clicks!
Hey Rebecca! Could you sum up what Buzzfeed does?
Buzzfeed is an online social media and entertainment company, where we work for clients to produce content and we also have journalists who produce our own content for the website. We cover everything from things that go viral, to politics and news.
Moving onto life at Buzzfeed - what are your catering needs in your office?
It’s quite difficult because everyone has their own preferences even if lunch is free. Some people want healthy food, whilst others want burgers. And then you’ve got dietary requirements for those people that are gluten free or lactose intolerant. It’s kind of a mixed bag of things, that people look to get out of the perk.
Office lunches have to keep everyone happy, and there has to be a balance. It has to be a perk for everyone, rather than just those people that just want to be healthy, or those that just want to eat junk food.
Agreed. So I’d like to know more about your journey with Buzzfeed. How was your office catering run before City Pantry?
So when I first started, I was the first office manager, and our office in the UK was very small - there were only 12 people. When I started introducing free lunches twice a week, I was determined to work with smaller independent food vendors, and street food markets. It was a case of going on twitter, and friending all the companies I knew already, you know, people like Mother Clucker.
Haha, so you were a food creep then?
Exactly. From there, more people started to follow me. Then others started to follow me because they probably clocked on to the fact that all I did was follow street food vendors! Anyway, I reached out to them through that and asked if they could deliver to us
One of Rebecca's favourites: Bombay Burrito
So what happened as the company grew?
Well, it just became more and more unmanageable because there wasn’t really a system to it, and it was difficult to keep up with the number of people joining the company (we are at 92 now!) At that point, it was when City Pantry contacted me and said ‘we’re really keen to work with you guys’ that I became a customer. It’s been nice because it’s been a thing where we’ve grown together. We’ve got to know everyone at City Pantry very well and forged a great relationship with you guys.
Food-wise, the people I already bought from could be contacted by City Pantry and then they joined the site, and then you guys would recommend new people to me. It has definitely taken the ‘ag’ out of ordering lunches!
Great to hear! What kind of effect have office lunches had on work ethic?
One of the main benefits from a company perspective is that it’s a huge perk. However it’s different to something, like healthcare, which is not something you think about every day. Whereas lunch twice a week… that’s immediately obvious to people. It makes people feel valued, as it is an expensive thing for a company to do. Lunches can easily cost an employee thirty pounds a week so it’s attractive for a company to make a dent into that.
Also, more people are inclined to stay at their desks, but we try to discourage that. We try to make sure people take a lunch break, but I know other companies that feed their employees because it keeps them at the office.
What are some of your favourite City Pantry packages?
One of our most popular office favourites is Mother Clucker, but people love everyone from Bombay Burrito to Moba. The Little Cooking Pot is another huge favourite of ours too. She really has mastered the art of making vegetarian food interesting to everyone.