It’s well known that meetings can stifle an engineer’s workflow, and while we can share company-wide news through newsletters and Slack channels, we’ve found that the best way to improve the “glue” is to let it happen organically over lunch. For example, an engineer might overhear our operations team complaining about a particular contract and connect the dots to a recent feature push that may have been the root cause. Every day, when our catered lunch arrives, everyone stops working to eat lunch with members of their own team and connect with people from other departments. This is the time for spontaneous collaboration and cross-pollination. Some companies underestimate the value of having everyone eat lunch with their peers. We don’t.
Lunch time is casual for us, but it’s also an important part of our day. Friends frequently drop by and we talk about everything from bitcoin, VR, and gaming to what we’re doing on our off days (okay, sometimes those overlap). We’ll often go grab lunch together from somewhere near our Mission/SOMA office, or everyone will bring their own lunch. (We do this when we try to be healthy.)
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We have a great lunch room for people to eat lunch together as a team, and also socialize with everyone else at the company. We also have rooms that we (not the entire mobile team but certainly a handful of us) like to play videos games in during lunchtime. For the early risers (read: 8:30am - 11:00am), we also have an objectively amazing breakfast.
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Having read about how collaborative we are and how integrated each department is, it’s hard to imagine us not eating lunch together. We provide lunch 3 days a week and and commonly take trips out together when we don’t. (We’re also guilty of being San Franciscan coffee snobs, so we make lots of trips to get coffee together too.)
We always want to find time to take a break, step away from what we’re focusing in, and touch base with one another. Sometimes it’s about work, and sometimes it’s not. Either way, it’s important to us on principle that teams enjoy the time they spend with their peers and make it a priority to catch up over food. We’re currently moving to a bigger office space, but we like to leave the office, get a scene change, and buy lunch somewhere each day.
Lunch, in particular, is a great opportunity to meet people from across our organization, exchange ideas, and have great conversations. We believe that Braze’s culture is more inclusive and interesting because we do this.
If you get hungry between meals (and who doesn’t?), we stock a variety of snacks from chips, cookies, applesauce, seaweed, fresh fruit, beef jerky, etc. If you don’t see your favorite snack, let us know and we’ll make it happen!
The MetroTech Commons is right outside our building and is surrounded by eateries which are almost all on MealPal. Team members will usually find a table and congregate there to talk about anything from the latest Laravel LTS version to how they feel about the new iPhoneX.
We also have regularly scheduled lunch events called Lunch and Learns where someone in the company will present insights from their department or teach a skill they are a master of. Some notable topics are playing guitar, SQL, closing deals, and video editing.
Lunch is a sacred time for us to relax, unwind, connect, and play. At lunch, you can find us debating the latest technologies, showing one another pictures from recent trips, and playing ping-pong. A warning for your waistline: at lunch we love to celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries of our illustrious team members, so be prepared to eat a lot of cake! Fear not, though, because we’re also committed to our physical health. We have a dedicated group of team members who plank for a minute every two hours during the workday to keep up our energy levels (our Slack channel is called #workhardplankhard –– all are welcome). We are very spirited ping-pong players. Yoga is also offered every other week.
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Our cross-team and cross-functional collaboration happen naturally as we all like to have lunch together every day. Our free, catered-in lunch is just an added perk of sitting down with a colleague and enjoying a meal together. Don't you end up eating with the same people who you normally hang out with anyways, you might ask? Not at Checkr! We have a built-in opportunity to join an optional group lunch every Friday with randomly selected people throughout the company, so you get to know and stay connected with each other better.
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Our Paris team eats lunch together every single day. Instead of getting catered food like you might be accustomed to in the U.S., our engineers and team have their meals sponsored by Algolia. This means that every day in Slack, you’ll get a message like the one below saying where everyone’s headed for lunch. Use your food vouchers and get on the lunch train!
We value company culture and what better way to bring people together than over some amazing food? Stationed right in the heart of Gastown, Vancouver, there are plenty of outstanding places to eat. Our legendary BBB (beer, bourbon, bacon) team outing is a magical place filled with dreams and tasty treats! You’ll have to join us to get the full experience. From company-wide Quiplash to Family Feud, lunchtime can sometimes be filled with entertaining group games. We work hard but we also play hard and we’re proud of it. We work hard but we also play hard and we’re proud of it. This keeps us fresh and ready to take on new challenges alongside people we enjoy spending time with.
Our team values collaboration and time together as a whole, which is why we have huge picnic tables in the center of our office! It's a chance to socialize with other team members and spend some time away from your desk. You can find yourself having a casual chat with someone on another team about favorite restaurants or a thoughtful debate about a public issue -- either way you’ll enjoy the company of others and a get breather from your work duties. We have catered lunch 2x a week, plus special catered breakfast here and there. We also have a fully stocked kitchen with drinks and snacks.
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Thursday’s lunches are sponsored by Thread, and each group has a designated leader that gets to pick the place! We also have catered lunch brought in to the office 3 days/week (and yes, we accommodate all dietary needs and restrictions!). We encourage everyone to take time away from their work to eat lunch together. It’s good for “Enjoying the Journey Together” (one of our values!) and also encourages serendipitous discussions. Every other week, we have a Lunch & Learn where someone gets to teach the team about a hobby, interest, or passion project. Some recent examples include Crit racing and barbecuing the perfect brisket.
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San Francisco, Santa Monica, Chattanooga, New York
Our offices in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Chattanooga, and New York City all have big farmhouse tables that we congregate at for lunch. (Though in Chattanooga, people tend to go out for lunch together instead.) We have a tradition on Wednesday where each week, one person presents a lunch talk at each office. It doesn’t have to be about technology, and it can be off the cuff. Talk about an interesting article you read earlier in the week and open it up for discussion, or bring in clay and teach everyone pottery! We do it alphabetically and when it’s your turn, you can talk about whatever you want. Are you already thinking about what you’d present?
Lunch is the time of the day where we can relax and talk about non-work related things. We have a private office in a co-working space, so there is always life around us. At least once a month there is an event in the co-working space that some people from our team participate in.
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