If you aren’t providing lifestyle perks like free lunch for your employees, put down that processed burger, wipe those greasy fingers, and click your way over to Sifted. The experiential lunch service founded by Jess Legge and Kimberly Lexow gives companies like Yik Yak, Eventbrite, and LYFT a fork up by cultivating young professional talent tired of the traditional company offerings of yesteryear.
Not long ago, Jess and Kimberly recognized that in order for southern companies to compete with coastal tech hubs for talent, there needed to be a better platform to order lunch and feed the grumbling bellies of employees. The cherry on top is that aside from your employees eating a delicious meal, they’ll also get a real pause from their day and engage with other staff members.
Since taking a bite into the food-tech service last year, the duo have reached over $1 million in revenue. They also recently relocated their headquarters from Nashville to the Atlanta Tech Village (where they will be feeding hungry entrepreneurs at the Startup Chowdown on April 29).
Hear the pair serve up a healthy scoop on their data-driven food brand Sifted – we’re pretty sure you’ll be pitching for a free lunch proposal by your next company meeting.
What’s your pitch?
Sifted creates experiential lunch programs for fast-growing, people-forward brands. As the anti-corporate caterer, Sifted makes lunch delivery personal, inspired and data-driven. Clients use Sifted’s chef-prepared lunches to treat their staff and recruit top talent.
What problem are you solving?
Prospective talent is constantly evaluating startups by their perk packages, like free lunches and workout stipends. For Southeastern tech hubs, it can be difficult to provide the same level of perks as coastal competitors. One of the simplest, most appreciated perks is free food, but executing this is far from easy.
Many companies in Nashville and Atlanta have found that current office lunch options are typically unhealthy, complicated, expensive and disconnected from the brand. We are giving innovative companies access to a fully-managed, healthful lunch program that reflects their culture and engages their team.
What’s your market/industry impact?
The best tech talent is in high demand. A low-risk way to bring teams together is over great food. Companies want to reward employees with lunch but are relying on an outdated industry to meet their demand. Catering is a 7 billion dollar industry and is, as a whole, outdated with 95% of orders being placed over the phone.
Fast-growing companies have more important things to do than coordinate lunches and track down delivery drivers. A partnership with Sifted allows companies to never spend time planning the next lunch again. By owning the process, with an in-house culinary team, we modify menus and cooking techniques based on client feedback and provide a truly data-driven lunch.
Sifted blends a high-touch, customer-centric experience with responsibly sourced, exciting menus, all while keeping the entire process in-house, which no other food-tech company is doing.
And your revenue model?
Our revenue model is similar to software as a service. Clients commit to a recurring service making Sifted’s revenue (and costs) predictable.
How’d you get the idea for it?
While working at a software company in Nashville, we recognized the increasing competition between companies for tech talent. As employees, we also recognized how meaningful a free lunch can be.
We noticed that on the days lunch was brought in, someone in-house was tasked with coordination, prices were unpredictable, food was mediocre and vegetarians or other dietary preferences were often excluded. Then, we had the idea to make lunch as a perk easy, delicious, streamlined and inclusive.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
Our competitors are traditional caterers or food delivery services. What sets us apart is that we own the process from start to finish and have long-term relationships with clients. We use direct, ongoing feedback from our clients to design a new menu every day with our in-house culinary team. Each client is matched with a professional account manager who personalizes the service and creates memorable experiences for their staff, making Sifted a partner versus a one-off vendor.
Images by Kiki Roeder