hungerhub Brings Canada’s First Virtual Food Court to Kitchener-Waterloo
As Employers Seek Return-to-Office Perks, hungerhub Brings Canada’s First Virtual Food Court to Kitchener-Waterloo Companies in Kitchener-Waterloo, such as BDO, are attracting employees back to the office with free daily lunches, prepared by the city’s top restaurants
TORONTO, April 27, 2022. As people head back to the office, hungerhub, dubbed ‘Canada’s first virtual food court,’ announces the launch of its Uncatering™ service in Kitchener-Waterloo. By providing the technology to place orders and the logistics to manage large-scale deliveries from a curated selection of local eateries, hungerhub provides companies in Kitchener-Waterloo with a creative way to entice employees back to the office: free lunches from the city’s top restaurants.
As companies embrace the new hybrid model of work, hungerhub provides a unique solution for those heading back to the office – whether for a few days per week or full-time. Described as ‘catering for the future,’ hungerhub’s office meal program provides employees with a tangible perk: a solution that not only offers great lunch options, but also one that saves time, money, service charges, delivery fees, and tips.
The service is being sought out by ‘people + culture’ leaders and HR departments throughout the country, resulting in increased employee satisfaction, well-being and retention — and it’s playing a vital role in rebuilding company culture and excitement around the return to the office. Since the beginning of 2022, hungerhub has seen an average weekly increase of 5.4 per cent in the number of employees returning to the office at least once per week.
“We believe the future of work is about providing flexibility, safety, and amazing perks! As companies compete to offer the best incentives — and as employees brace to buy lunch after two years of working from home — now is the perfect time for forward-thinking employers to offer something employees actually want,” says Sari Abdo, Co-Founder and CEO, hungerhub. “If your company already provides a meal plan, this is a way to offer it in a more hand-off, cost-effective, and diversified way. If you’ve never offered a meal plan and you’re looking for ways to attract talent and entice people back to the office, hungerhub’s virtual food court is a perk your employees will love.”
Major Kitchener-Waterloo employer already on board
Prominent local employer, BDO, an accounting, tax, bookkeeping, advisory services firm with offices across Canada and a large presence in Waterloo, has already signed on to provide hungerhub’s Uncatering™ service to their team. With roughly 150 employees, BDO’s branch in Waterloo says the service is already boosting morale and has been effective at drawing people back into the office. Tuesdays through Thursdays have been their busiest days at the office, with between 40 to 60 staff coming in each day and taking advantage of the subsidized lunch benefit.
“A few years ago, we probably wouldn’t have considered a perk like this, but after being at home for over two years, people need a little extra motivation to go back to the office,” says Rob Wayne, Managing Partner in Greater KW Area, BDO Canada. “We love seeing our team members face-to-face, and hungerhub has given us a way to acknowledge those who make the effort to come in. Offering free lunches is such an effective way to show people that you value their time, and it’s worked better than we could have imagined — people have been returning to the office in higher and higher numbers, and they love picking their meal for the day!”
Here’s how it works: employees who come to the office log in and select lunch from a daily rotation of top local restaurants. They have until 10:30 AM to select their lunch for the day — which always includes healthy choices and diet-restricted options — and when lunch rolls around, each team member receives their individually sealed and labeled meal box. Profiles and individual orders are customized, so each restaurant automatically sees a person's dietary restrictions or food allergies, and prepares the meal based on any additional required customization. Feedback on the meal and restaurants can be submitted directly on the app.
Zero-Waste on the horizon for Kitchener-Waterloo
By partnering with Friendlier, an Ontario-based reusable takeout packaging supplier, hungerhub plans to become a sustainability leader in the delivery and catering industry. hungerhub currently supplies half of their office meal deliveries in reusable packaging, with plans to go zero-waste in Kitchener-Waterloo by the end of 2022.
Empowering local restaurants to become caterers
By connecting workplaces with the city’s best restaurants, hungerhub not only provides a unique incentive to attract employees back to the office, it empowers local restaurants to increase their order volume by becoming caterers overnight — with none of the stressful logistics or food waste typically associated with the catering industry. Over 350 restaurants across the country have signed on to provide lunches via hungerhub, including national and multi-location locations chains like Basil Box and The Chopped Leaf, as well as a range of independent and family-owned favourites. In Kitchener-Waterloo, over 30 restaurants have already signed on to provide meals, most of which are single location, family-run restaurants.
Since launching in 2018, hungerhub has delivered close to 4 million lunches in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Hamilton and now Kitchener-Waterloo. Leading companies such as BDO, which has partnered with hungerhub for many of its Canadian branches, rely on hungerhub to provide a curated selection of the best lunch choices in their city and deliver them to their office on time, every day.
As Canada’s #1 office meal delivery solution, hungerhub connects workplaces with great local restaurants in a hands-off, cost-effective way, allowing employers to incentivize their teams back to the office with everybody’s favourite perk: free lunch. In addition to providing companies with a virtual food court, hungerhub also empowers local restaurants with the tools and technology to increase sales volumes by becoming caterers overnight — without any of the stressful logistics or food waste associated with catering. Founded in 2018 and based in Toronto, hungerhub was named one of ‘Canada’s Top Growing Companies’ by The Globe and Mail in 2021. To learn more, visit https://hungerhub.com/.