A few weeks ago, HqO sat down with Steve Kelly, the Vice President of Business Development at Ritual, to talk all things food and beverage. Ritual is one of HqO’s exclusive Marketplace partners that focuses on enhancing the workplace experience (WX) through office food ordering and delivery. Technology enablement, in turn, makes it easier than ever for employees to enjoy their office lunch and local community.
The episode starts out with how much the company has grown over the course of the pandemic due to its digital customer experience capabilities. “In many ways, I think [our growth is due to] a lot of the same things as back in 2014, albeit at a faster pace,” explains Kelly. “All types of businesses now are transacting with their clients through digital channels and mediums. Ritual is part of that for our merchant partners. We’re just excited to be a part of that journey and their growth, and to enable local businesses to really have the ability to transact with clients in ways that help them grow their business digitally.”
Kelly continues on to describe how the industries of clients Ritual has served have also changed in that timeframe. The coffee sector, he explains, was an early adopter of their technology. Back then, Ritual provided services such as ordering food and coffee in advance. Now, the company’s capabilities have expanded to include all types of restaurant formats that embrace digital and off-premise transactions. This includes the ability to order lunch from neighboring vendors, as well as unique perks and benefits that can connect customers (especially customers in workplace environments) with their surrounding neighborhood.
“Ritual has always had a very large focus on the workplace and where you spend your time between 8:00am in the morning and maybe 6:00pm in the evening,” Kelly continues. “In the workplace, if you think about it, there’s always been a real value placed on convenience in those time-pressured moments of the day where you’re on your morning commute and you only have 10 minutes to grab that coffee before a meeting. Or, in a lunchtime routine where it’s going to be time-condensed. If you can get your order in, especially in a very busy office environment, that’s just going to afford you the ability to have lots of options.”
Thus, food ordering and lunch delivery play a critical role in the employee experience. After all, work-related experiences not only cover what goes on in physical workplaces. To take a truly holistic approach to employee engagement, employers and landlords alike need to vet all their options on how to make opportunities like daily commutes, lunch breaks, and down-time more convenient and enjoyable for employees.
“[Community] is a big part of what we’re working on, both in terms of our communications to users and in collaboration with our commercial real estate landlord partners and spaces. We’re really helping them welcome back their workforces and their customers in those moments.”
This rings especially true amid the rise of hybrid work models, where many employees have enthusiastically bought in to the digital workplace and spend less time in physical office spaces. Kelly also explains that Ritual’s product is focused on community through its ability to encourage less individual orders, and more group ordering with colleagues that encourage coworker interactions.
It’s important to note that Ritual works with more than landlord clients. They also work with Workplace Experience Managers and corporate clients who can focus on going beyond the typical boxed lunches, and enable food as a workplace perk. The user experience is seamless on both ends: the merchant partner gets to enjoy easy set up and another medium to create new loyal customers, and the employee experience is extremely convenient and frictionless, allowing them to get the most out of their days when they come into the office.
Want to hear the full episode? Click here.