Imagine walking into a food festival after spending all day orchestrating your restaurant’s catering. You’ve been focused on making sure your guests can try your latest dishes at the festival, while not missing any of your regular deliveries. You’re exhausted. But you’re excited to drum up prospective business. Most of all, you’re ready to meet your friend for the first time. You’ve been talking to her for years over the phone about updates to your menu and growing your business. She is your ezCater support system. That person is Lexie Daniells. Lexie thrives on building strong relationships with ezCater’s caterer partners. She supports restaurants and helps them grow by digging into the details of their business.
Lexie works in Account Management – Caterer Partnerships & Support at ezCater. She always goes above and beyond. Recently she was recognized by one of her peers for aiming high, one of ezCater’s values. Lexie carved time out of her day, on top of her daily tasks, to review a new ezCater platform feature. She noticed details that hadn’t been thought of before, answered questions from the team, and shared the news of the new feature with caterers. All with her usual smile.
We caught up with Lexie to find out what it’s like to work at ezCater.
What drew you to working at ezCater?
ezCater found me. Before ezCater, I was an outside sales rep selling multifunctional copiers. And then, a corporate recruiter reached out to me for an inside sales role here. I saw it as a great opportunity to hone my cold calling skills and my ability to build relationships over the phone. So I came in for an interview.
I could sense the impact ezCater was going to make on business catering. The people were laughing, but still getting their work done. You could tell that people weren’t only coworkers, but also friends and a team.
Six months after I started working at ezCater, I transitioned into the Caterer Care role. The sales team had previously been handling support phone calls from our caterer partners, answering questions like:
- How do your billing cycles work again?
- Can we add more people for order transmissions?
- How can I get more business?
Being able to give this advice was my favorite part of the role. So I voiced my interest in a full-time position handling these questions, and in March of 2015, I made the switch.
What does your typical workday look like?
My day consists of speaking to caterers, reviewing their accounts, and seeing the impact ezCater is making on their business. Each day I have conversations with everyone from mom and pop caterers to our chain partners. I love hearing about their different perspectives, their different needs, and calculating the growth that they’re all experiencing.
For example, a few years ago I began working with a caterer who now works at Newk’s Eatery in Atlanta. During our work together we talk about how he can optimize his business, and adjust his ezCater account parameters to maximize his success — which he has seen. His new location has seen an influx of orders since February. And he has added two more locations to ezCater. When I was in Atlanta at ezFoodFest, I was even able to meet him for the first time. We caught up the way we always do over the phone. But this time it was in person. We even got a photo.
What is most exciting about working at ezCater?
There is no better feeling than solving a problem for a caterer and feeling the tension on the phone call dissolve away. I love troubleshooting and diving deep into our caterer’s accounts with them to really see what is going on.
I work with a caterer in Philadelphia who knows the region like the back of her hand. She knows each zip code within a 45-mile radius. Because of this, she determined her delivery fees by zip code rather than the typical mile-based structure. There was a lot of frustration on her end because we couldn’t implement her zip-code structure automatically within our system. But then I had an idea. We made a Google Doc so that every time we sent her an order with the wrong delivery fee, we would enter it into the doc and update the fee on a per order basis. But the caterer went even further. She entered every zip code with the correlated fee and order minimum needed to fill an order into the doc. She even provided a hyperlink to a map showing where the zip code is located. It was a great moment of collaboration. Now her business isn’t seeing any errors in the orders we send them. I was so impressed and we were able to effectively implement their in-house practices on our site perfectly.
On a departmental level, Caterer Care is just getting the ball rolling. In the past 18 months we have tripled the size of the department and hired a full-time manager.
What have you learned so far?
- You are your word: We value transparency. This is evident internally and in our caterer partnerships. Our executives share financials, growth trajectories, and lessons learned from business strategies with their employees. This transparency encourages me to treat our partners and the conversations we have the same way.
- Voice all of your ideas: New ezCater features are always being rolled out to make our customers and partners lives easier. And many of those ideas come from us. Some of my proudest moments here at ezCater have been seeing my ideas implemented into our platform.
- Sometimes you just need to be a sounding board: We all get frustrated. Our partners greatly appreciate it when you just listen sometimes.
What advice do you have for those who are looking for a role like yours?
- Don’t take anything at face value: A lot of information in our system is connected in subtle ways. Being able to ask why and look at every facet of an account from different angles is something I do every day.
- Be critical of your work: Since our department is still ramping up, many procedures and practices aren’t in place yet. So, coming to work ready to think about what we can change to make things work better for us and our partners contributes to our success.
- Be empathetic: Our caterer partners invest a lot of time and money into their business. Understanding the passion that they have for food and hospitality with help you understand where they are coming from.
What are some of your favorite things about being in the Boston area?
There are so many different-sized concert halls around Boston and Cambridge. I try to go to one concert a month. The concert venues and music scene in Boston make it so easy. It is a great way to see fun new areas in Boston while also seeing great performances.
What do you like about working in Downtown Crossing?
What is not to love? One of the best things about working in Downtown Crossing is that I can always find a restaurant to satisfy the craving I have. Talking to caterers all day about their recipes and the food they make results in some unique cravings. Pierogies? Downtown Crossing has those. Bubble Tea? We’re just a short walk from Chinatown. An Italian Sub? Sam Lagrassa’s is just around the corner.
Interested in working at ezCater?