Anyone who has attended a corporate function can probably relate to this situation: It’s time to sit down to the food portion, and it’s an array of dry sandwiches, lifeless sausage rolls, and gritty instant coffee. Everyone accepts this fate, though, because that’s what a meal is at a business event.
In recent years, however, those within the food industry looked at that model and saw a better way to approach office catering. That included Order-In, which is based in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Namely, this company and others like it strove to offer a blend of traditional customer service and an innovative integration of forward-thinking technology.
“Order-In takes care of all office catering, kitchen supplies, and corporate event needs for offices across Australia,” says Joo Dean, head of marketing at Order-In, “but we make office catering easier through an online ordering platform.”
Riding the Success of the Food Delivery Model
When Jonathan Rowley launched Order-In in 2000, ordering food online was still in its early days. However, with the growing popularity of personal food-delivery services, such as Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats in the United States and Menulog and Foodora in Australia, people became increasingly comfortable with the business model and began seeking that convenience and flexibility in the corporate world as well.
“At Order-In, it’s our aim to continually improve Australia’s corporate catering industry by better utilizing technology,” says Dean. “Using these technical innovations, we want to make the catering process easier, more reliable, and more flexible in order to meet the changing needs of modern businesses.”
For their work in the food-technology industry, the company recently earned two Silver Stevie® Awards: one in the category of Excellence in Innovation in Business Product & Service Industries and another in the Innovation in Corporate Websites category in the 2019 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
Tapping Technology to Encourage Diversity and Sustainability
By making technology an integral part of the online business catering model, companies can offer greater ease and flexibility to their corporate clients, but the people behind these companies are also better positioned to operate in ways that align with contemporary professional ideologies.
“By putting everything in an online platform, which inherently removes many barriers, it allows us to build long-term relationships with our suppliers and to support local businesses, including Australian farmers,” says Dean. “We make a conscious effort to actively encourage and to include diverse, multicultural Aboriginal and not-for-profit catering suppliers into our platform, and those suppliers benefit because we offer a way to reach more customers.
“We can even work with charities and create partnerships that are in tune with our business values,” Dean continues.
In addition to promoting diversity, the online platform also allows customers and partners to make eco-conscious food choices.
“We recently implemented a sustainability rating system in October 2018 for all our caterers, which means our customers can make more informed choices about ordering sustainable catering.”
The synergy technology doesn’t just benefit the end user, though. It also improves the supplier experience, with many companies encouraging their suppliers to order biodegradable catering boxes, napkins, and cutlery.
Order-In and a myriad of other online food platforms demonstrate that technology can truly do more within the culinary industry than increase convenience for the customer; it’s also a means to help people make healthier, more sustainable food choices.
Order-In received two Silver Stevie Awards: one in the category of Excellence in Innovation in Business Product & Service Industries and another in the Innovation in Corporate Websites category in the 2019 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
Interested in winning a Stevie Award in 2020?