From humble beginnings in 2015, Eat My Lunch made and delivered over 1,000,000 lunches to Kiwi kids in need.
Founded by Lisa King and award-winning chef Michael Meredith, the social enterprise was created to ensure no child in New Zealand would have to go to school hungry, and in just three years, they provided lunches to 82 schools in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
The concept was based around a structure of ‘Buy One, Give One’ so for every lunch that is bought through Eat My Lunch, a lunch will be given to a child who would otherwise go without.
The business expanded to offer business catering services as well as Eat My Dinner, meals for dinner time sold online and through New World supermarkets around Auckland.
Eat My Lunch began providing its service out of a residential villa in Auckland with a very light digital footprint. However, once the enterprise was launched and the wider community heard about this program that was Giving lunches to children in need, the Eat My Lunch concept grew quickly.
Like most small enterprises, they started with a simple online ordering website, but as the business started to grow and exceed is operating expectations, it was evident that a more adaptable and scalable option was required.
With more customers ordering lunches, more schools were able to be taken on as part of the Eat My Lunch Give Programme but it was time to find a robust solution that could grow with them, and one that would be able to streamline their processes in order to save time and money.
Being a smaller start-up social enterprise, we worked closely with Eat My Lunch to ensure we were responsible in terms of the cost, but could also deliver an innovative solution,” says Bain Hollister, Co-founder of ClearPoint.
ClearPoint has always had a strong value around giving back to the community and doing great things through the talent in the business. Eat My Lunch was a social enterprise that needed an improved technology foundation and a way to scale more easily, so was an obvious choice for ClearPoint to partner with.
The first task for ClearPoint was to assess the existing system and see whether it could be adjusted to manage the changes required to keep the business moving forward – reduced turnaround times, ability to accommodate new products, order management, integration capabilities etc. Unfortunately, it was not possible to continue working with the software in place, which meant the team at ClearPoint would need to develop a new service solution.
“The first action was to make them safe, so we ported all their existing online systems to Amazon Web Services. We then designed a new online solution enabling Eat My Lunch to manage their own content, products/pricing, subscription management and payments,” says Bain Hollister, co-founder of ClearPoint.
An open source ‘out-of-the-box’ product was implemented through WordPress with WooCommerce integration, and it was then customised to suit their exact requirements and needs. ClearPoint designed and built a kitchen management solution and automated a number of processes enabling Eat My Lunch to scale operations and self-manage their systems to ensure the smooth running of orders through to distribution. The key focus was on ensuring the best customer experience.
Our orders have grown from 500 per day before the system was in place, and expanded to over 2,000 per day.”
Lisa King, Founder, Eat My Lunch
The solutions executed and customised by ClearPoint enabled Eat My Lunch to scale quickly, without interruptions in service.
“Our orders have grown from 500 per day before the system was in place, and expanded to 2,000 per day,” says Lisa King, co-founder of Eat My Lunch.
“It has also helped us to offer further product lines such as dinners and catering.”
ClearPoints’ end-to-end service also included a number of other process enhancements:
- Integration with a SaaS application called ‘V Work’ which optimises thousands of addresses within minutes and ensures drivers are taking the best routes for deliveries – the delivery information then feeds WooCommerce into the application. This allows visibility and traceability across every lunch from dispatch through to delivery.
- A comprehensive bespoke run sheet enabling easy integration to a label creation application.
- Building online dashboards for the production kitchens so they could move away from printed data to a visible online screen version located in the Eat My Lunch kitchens. This has helped to ensure the production teams have confirmed and forecasted data resulting in less waste, cost efficiencies and appropriate staff planning as determined by the numbers showing.
Today, ClearPoint continues to be the technology partner for Eat My Lunch, providing strategic technology guidance, as well as the supply of infrastructure and hardware and website support. ClearPoint is also on the advisory board for Eat My Lunch and ClearPoint staff continue to volunteer to make the lunches.