There is no surprise in saying that the company’s culture is changing when the start-up grows. But it is amazing to see those changes in action even in the most simple basic activities during the day, like lunch time.
When we first started the company, back in the home-office, lunch time was something we wanted to remove from our way to keep working. We ate a pita bread with hummus or a tuna sandwich made on spot and it was fast and simple.
As time passed, we decided tuna was overrated and you can’t eat hummus every day if you wish to code after that. So we decided to invest a little more into our lunch and went grocery shopping once a week to buy “healthier” ingredients like pasta, chicken, vegis and rice. We took turns and whoever had any practical cooking skills, cooked for the team. It really worked great. Not bad. But it took plenty of time and it didn’t last for long. Takeouts and deliveries worked well for a while too especially when it became too much to cook for a bunch of people.
The next phase came after 1 year when we moved to our new office. At that time, we were already 6 team members and we decided to use the lunch time to freshen up and go out. Altogether. Back then, it was still possible to get a table for 6-8 people on Rothschild’s Ave in Tel-Aviv during lunch peak hours.
The problem started when we grew a little bit more. Not only it became more and more difficult to get a table for all of us in one place, but also we had a dog with us – Marti. In any case, we reached the next phase: 10bis. For those of you who don’t live in Israel and don’t work for high-tech: 10bis is a card fueled with real money that is offered to the employee as a benefit. With 10bis, the company can subsidize the cost of meals during work time.
You would think this is the end, I mean how low can you go? Is this a corporate or what?! But not. The next thing was that some people decided to become healthier and didn’t want to grab whatever, and some became vegetarian or carnivore. At this point we couldn’t decide where and what to eat at lunch time. So we created Lunch Time, an application that solved our daily ‘where to eat dilemma’ in an efficient and democratic way.
Lunch Time gave each one of us the opportunity to democratically vote for the restaurant we want to eat lunch at, and made it shorter and easier to decide where to go. “Lunch Time” enjoyed success and popularity among the employees of The Gifts Project for a distinguished period in the company’s history. We developed this app using open source code and now we are ready to hand the code for further development.