Platterz

How Platterz Built a Data-Powered Food and Culture Platform

Josh Martow — Josh Martow, Director of Business Intelligence

As companies around the world strategize how and when to safely reopen their workplaces, many common questions remain.

“How can we keep our employees content and motivated at work during a time of unprecedented stress and uncertainty?” “How can we limit their exposure to crowded environments and unnecessary contact throughout the workday?” “And how can we support our favorite local food vendors, who have faced their own incredible challenges these past few months?”

One viable answer to each of these questions, and more: Platterz, a Toronto-based startup whose mission is to fuel thriving workplaces through food and culture experiences. Though the company has been in business for several years, its goal of fostering employee satisfaction while supporting local food vendors has perhaps never seemed more vital.

Platterz: The early days

Platterz was founded in 2015, and launched a year later. Though the catered-lunch market was already crowded at the time, Platterz’ founders recognized an opportunity to innovate. They sought to create a truly modern platform that would let companies easily order and customize meals based on their budgets and employees’ preferences, with transparent pricing and helpful recommendations fueled by machine learning.

Such a sophisticated product would require lots of data. And in the early days, that meant a lot of manual labor.

“We were scrappy in the beginning. Did everything manually,” Director of Business Development Tal Brodsky said in a recent blog post. “We’d say yes to requests on the fly, and then figure out a way to make it happen.”

As the company grew, and the product evolved, working with all that data became increasingly complex.

Josh Martow, then the engineering team manager, saw firsthand the amount of effort it was taking Platterz’ engineers to create reports and data dashboards to support the company’s various departments. And later, as Product Director, Josh saw the bottleneck from the other side. He and his colleagues would have to request new queries from the engineering team, and wait until the next release cycle to see new graphs. This process made it hard to quickly learn from their data and enact changes, all while pulling engineers off of core initiatives.

Josh knew he had to find a solution that would enable Platterz to work far more efficiently with its data, especially as the company continued to grow.

“We needed a way to ask questions and get answers right away, without relying on engineers to write code,” Josh says.

Choosing a BI solution

Platterz investigated several BI platforms, but none had a user interface they loved, and most had a steep learning curve.

But their experience with Chartio was different. New users found it easy to get started, and the Chartio support team was proactive in answering questions and providing support. “They didn’t charge us hourly for onboarding and new user support like some vendors do,” says Josh. “They were there when I needed them and got us off and running fast.”

Josh was also impressed with the amount of advanced data manipulation his team could do in Chartio without writing any SQL. They particularly appreciated Chartio’s post-processing capabilities; once relevant data sources were connected, the Platterz team could create a query and run it through as many pipeline steps as they wanted, adding rules and joins to output charts that focused only on the data they cared about.

Chartio is really powerful and flexible, I was cranking out new charts and dashboards in no time. At that point I didn’t need to look at other options.

—Josh Martow, Director of Business Intelligence at Platterz

Tracking critical data at Platterz

After choosing Chartio as the company’s BI solution, Josh built an ecosystem of interconnected dashboards that each department could use to support their goals.

The sales team, for example, uses Chartio graphs to monitor how customers are spending. Customer Success analyzes their performance along with customer retention metrics. And Operations can understand order fulfillment and financial metrics at a glance.

It’s exciting to have all the right analytics at our fingertips. There’s so much on Chartio that lets us give customers a better experience.

—Josh Martow, Director of Business Intelligence at Platterz

Josh also used Chartio to build Order Tracker, a live feed of order data that the Partner Success team uses daily. Order Tracker shows each order as it comes through, highlighting important details and statuses so partners can take appropriate action.

For example, the Partner Success team watches to see which orders are delayed or cancelled. If they see an issue on Order Tracker, they can check in right away with the vendor or customer to avoid a poor delivery experience.

They can also be proactive. Chartio highlights customers who are placing an order for the first time, or who have had an issue in the past, so local vendors and delivery staff can pay special attention to making the experience positive—thus increasing repeat business.

In some companies, BI just means implementing report requests, some of which aren’t well thought-out. But with Chartio, we can think about the needs of every department and create charts and visualizations that serve us so much better than what individual team members might have asked for.

—Josh Martow, Director of Business Intelligence at Platterz

Serving more vendors with data

Today Platterz has thousands of local vendors on the platform, with customers like Google, Shopify, and Amazon. And in addition to empowering their internal teams, Platterz uses Chartio to help their vendors improve their own performance. Josh’s team has built data dashboards for each vendor, letting them see their own performance metrics and compare them to benchmarks, including order volumes and average price per order. Using that data, the vendors can make adjustments to their menus and pricing or improve the way they manage orders.

As Platterz expands into new regions and adds more partners to the platform, they’re avoiding some of the common roadblocks that come with fast growth. Josh already has new BI team members that use Chartio daily, regardless of whether they can write code. They no longer have to rely on engineering to produce new charts or reports. And most importantly, as the volume of their data increases, their teams can confidently rely on their data to help them continue to serve customers, and fuel thriving workplaces, across the board.

Platterz is a platform that cultivates happy workplaces through food and culture experiences. Platterz partners with local vendors to help companies create unique culinary solutions across North America and Europe.

Interviewee

Josh Martow

Industry

Internet

Company size

51-200 employees

Headquarters

Toronto, ON

Founded

2015

Use cases

customer success , partner success

More customer stories like this