Accidental Startup Office Manager: Ordering Food

I’ve been thinking about writing about the “less glorious” parts of operating a startup company in the past.  This is my first post on that theme.   Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see it become a regular series.

Before I was a “growth hacker” or even pa

rt of a successful startup, I was the only non-technical person on a team of geeks determined to revolutionize telecommunications.  Of course the company was Twilio, and one of my early (self-assigned) jobs was to make sure we had enough Diet Coke, Goldfish Crackers, and other stuff to make the office a decent place to work.

Before you go on the typical rant “of course a girl would be put in charge of this” let me tell you – no one put me in charge of it.  In fact, I’d put it on my personal card and expense it because our team was really frugal.  And they worked ridiculously hard, and I could see that they wouldn’t eat or go grab food because it wasn’t convenient.  From what I could see, solving this problem would let them write more code, and writing more code would help us win.  So I did it.

Some of the things to consider as you are shopping:

  • Where are you going to store all this stuff, especially non-perishables?
  • Who is trying to lose weight? (Can you avoid ordering foods that are their weakness?)
  • Who is doing low-carb or other types of diets? (Kosher, diabetic, vegetarian, etc)
  • How healthy do people want to be?
  • Do people need you to supply (or can you afford to offer) full meal replacements or just snacks?
  • How much do you want to spend per day on food?
  • How long do you think this order will last?

In the early days, any food is appreciated – and as time passes people start to have preferences and healthy concerns. I’ve created a Referly collection of products to help with your own startup food shopping list.  In fact, I just made a $900 purchase from for Referly and InternMatch (we share and office) that will hopefully last us 6-8 weeks.

Important Note: We also order in fresh food from restaurants with or Postmates, and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables as needed from the local farmer’s market (for us at Pier 1).  You can also arrange to have farm fresh baskets delivered locally, or from to anywhere in the U.S. (disclosure by lovely brother-in-law is their CFO).

Check it out and let me know if I’ve missed any key items you recommend.

Quick Top 5 Products (for those who don’t have time to click through)

  1. Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars – 96 bars for $21 on
  2. Kellogg’s Fruity Snacks – 24 packs for $15 on
  3. Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack – 52 packets for $19 on
  4. Sugar Free Redbull – Pack of 24 8.4 Ounce cans on
  5. Office Snax Peanut Butter Pretzel Nuggets – 2 44 Ounce tubs for $50 on

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