How Canada's #1 place to work is making friends by using Ritual.

A Q&A with the CEO of SoapBox, Brennan McEachran

Ritual's social ordering feature, dubbed “Piggyback,” brings teams and companies together - and it's completely free. Ordering together as a group improves company culture and helps break down silos while connecting people over food. We sat down with Co-Founder and CEO of SoapBox, Brennan McEachran on how Ritual has become an integral part of their company culture. SoapBox was named the best workplace in Canada by Great Place to Work in 2016 and we heard first hand how Ritual has contributed to their inspiring office culture.

How would you describe Ritual in your own words?

Ritual is how we get lunch at SoapBox. You either bring your lunch because your significant other has seen your credit card bill recently, or you use Ritual! The Piggyback feature on Ritual is how different teams get to know each other at SoapBox and has helped avoid cliques from forming in the office. We joke all the time that we don't want to stand in line like a barbarian. Ritual really does mean lunch at SoapBox.

“I don't want to stand in line like a barbarian”

What did SoapBox do before Ritual?

Oh my gosh… I have no clue, what did we do? It's like it was the prehistoric era, it's crazy to think about. Before Ritual, we were like cavemen looking for food. We must have wasted so much time, but now we use Ritual to save time and lunch becomes an exciting reveal of what everyone is eating! We all unwrap our lunches and eat together.

“It's like it was the prehistoric era”

How has Ritual influenced the culture at SoapBox?

Ritual has influenced our culture in many ways, but the most significant is probably with new hires. All of the employees compete to get the referral bonus from the newbie. They all try to make friends with the new person which makes that person feel welcomed right off the bat.

People will go so far as to try to guess the email address of the new person to send them their referral code before they even start! It's a little crazy, but it makes everyone feel welcomed when they walk in on their first day - so I think it's great.

Ritual has taken out 80% of the effort of forming trust in our team since we spend time ordering and eating together every day. It has really helped build the culture with new and existing employees.

So, is piggybacking intentional or more serendipitous for your team?

The groupings on a Ritual Piggyback order are usually very organic. No one really has any hesitation to join an order. Natural groupings do form though depending on what time people eat lunch… there are the noon-sharp people and those who like to push lunch a little later.

How has Ritual affected the relationships amongst employees?

Ritual has helped build better relationships between a vast number of our employees. We use it a lot for one-on-one meetings between managers and employees. Part of having a great company is having a culture where people trust each other and the best way to do that is to break bread... or a cookie or a brownie.

The food you are interested in can create a shared connection and camaraderie between others in the company. Food really does bring people together and Ritual helps make that happen in a big way. Ritual has brought a dynamic social element to ordering and picking up lunch, which is otherwise a pretty individual experience.

“Part of having a great company is having a culture where people trust each other and the best way to do that is to break bread... or a cookie or a brownie.”

As CEO, what is your hope when you offer to host a Piggyback order on Ritual?

My hope is that I am creating a moment where I can connect to someone at the company I may not talk to very often day-to-day. It takes away the stress some of the newer employees might have if I asked someone to grab a coffee with me traditionally. Now, we just hop on a Ritual order together and it feels more natural.

What is your favourite Ritual story?

We have a company retreat every year where all of the employees go to a camp for a couple days and compete in team building activities for arbitrary points (picture, below).

Everyone is very serious about this retreat and do whatever it takes to win, even though there usually isn't a prize. The biggest event of them all is the final canoe race.

This past summer, right before the canoe race started, I announced that the winners would have their points converted into Ritual points. I have never seen these people more excited! One employee said that they would race for 6 hours just to get the Ritual points. Everyone worked so hard to win and they were more motivated than ever because of the potential for Ritual points.

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