Modern meals for modern offices
Chewse (now acquired by Foodee) is a San Francisco-based startup. Their mission is to make easy for companies to provide great quality food for their employees. Through their service they connect companies with restaurants to organize catered meals with customizable menus.
Its impact is measured, firstly, with the expansion through several major US and Canada cities. Secondly, by the level of connection that creates between the parts. They also work along with charity organizations to donate extra food that’s left over from their meal services.
Chewse’s goal was to be the place where modern offices plan their meals. They’re experts in individual meals, smart packaging and, due to recent conjuncture, they have contactless delivery.
The company was born in 2011, when its founders found an asymmetric relation between desk lunches at US offices and the variety of restaurants around those zones. While office employees mostly had unhealty fast-food lunches, restaurants with variety and delicious meals sometimes had to close their doors due lack of customers.
Founders Jon Cartwright and Ryan Spong aimed to merge both things and free companies from unhealthy desk lunches while also promoting local gastronomy. This became a reality in 2013, and by now, Chewse has delivered over 10,000,000 office catering meals in 10 cities across North America and Canada —and it’s continuing to grow.
Chewse had their own internal backend development team but no designer. They reached out to Capicua to extend their capabilities, as well as getting an ongoing contractor. We started designing and developing the frontend of their internal app for menu building, and stayed working on several more projects. We were requested with an on-site design sprint, a menu builder and a VUE frontend.
Chewse had been using third-party software to manage their operations. That meant many tasks required extra work, so they needed custom tools that could automate many of their processes. We professionalized their development lifecycles and software maturity and prepared them for a successful acquisition just before COVID hit.
The client wanted to build an additional app to help automate its delivery process, and wanted their custom-built app to match its look and feel. Members of our UX design team met with the Chewse team in San Francisco to spend a week in an intensive design sprint.
We worked with VUE.JS for the application of frontend framework, combined with DJANGO for backend frameworks and POSTGRESQL’s database. For UI stylings, we used Vuetify, a library based on Material UI. This created a style and feel for the apps that would be consistent and recognizable.
Once Chewse acquires a new restaurant provider, they have to input all of their menu items into the system. Each item has special characteristics that need to be tracked, like potential allergens, style of cuisines and types of meal. It’s extremely important to trackcorrectly dietary requirements to achieve people’s safety, based both on health issues and lifestyle preferences. We placed several validation points in the app to make sure that items were appropriate for each menu being built.
We also needed to integrate the menu app’s logic with the menu scheduling. To make the menu building process even more efficient, we built a tool that allows Chewse to upload new menu items in a CSV format, making it a less exhausting task. This created an improved interaction between the company, the restaurants and final users.
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