- June 17, 2011
The idea behind free lunch being policy at Infochimps is that it helps people maximize productivity because each individual doesn’t have to think of where they want to eat, then what, and then go out, get it, and return; it also helps us bond as teammates to all eat at the same time and place. We’re constantly running the cost/benefit on this practice, but at least for now it seems to be much more beneficial than cost incurring.
Infochimps is about increasing both user and programmer joy in whatever ways we can. We’re always streamlining our processes, tweaking, and fixing things along the way. It’s amazing how sometimes a small but major pain point can be fixed with some deft coding.
As we’ve grown larger, making lunch easy to get for everyone and making sure that everyone could have their tastes accommodated was becoming a problem. I created a small database with all the restaurants we order from on a regular basis so that I could find their contact info and menus more quickly, and that helped for a little while, but even with that tool, we had a “lunch coup” one day. (It was peacefully resolved with some Asian take-out, and no one was harmed in the process.)
Enter: The Lunchlady
No, not that one!
Lunchlady was written by founder and CTO, Flip Kromer in an afternoon during his 20% time (!!). Lunchlady allows us to rate restaurants, know the frequency of ordering from various restaurants, organizes all of the orders so that they’re in one place, and, regardless of whether or not someone gets an email about lunch, they can go to the link, log in, and order. This has made my life as Minister of Office Joy, easier in many ways. I can set the restaurant of the day from anywhere, everyone can put their order in with any special instructions they need to get across, I can access that information from pretty much anywhere, call the order in, and deliver it to the office with greater ease than before.
Long live the Lunchlady App, long may she help me deliver office joy!