By Nancy Weingartner
Want to get more productivity out of your employees? Then let them eat cake — or sliced Fuji apples or drink Red Bull. Just don’t make them leave the workplace on company hours to forage for themselves.
“The idea behind it,” says Snackdash CEO Calvin Gaisford, “is we want to keep employees here (at their work stations).” To that end, Snackdash delivers break room supplies and puts them away, so the receptionist or the buff, and handsomely paid, programmer isn’t schlepping heavy boxes to help out.
There is no shortage of snack delivery companies, especially ones that deliver portioned healthy fare — Naturebox, Graze, Nuts.com, for example—but Snackdash appears to be the only one that also delivers office supplies, beverages, perishable items and stocks the fridge. It’s also a franchise, since that business model allows them to offer personal service around the country that mail order can’t. They call it a “business in an app.”
Kraig Higginson and Cliff Stradling started the company in 2008 as Thirst Express to deliver cases of bottled water to Salt Lake City area businesses. They added snacks and began to think of themselves as a concierge service. By 2014, the founders saw the potential to take it nationwide and hired Gaisford to develop a tech platform so the company could begin to franchise.
The process is paperless, mobile, cloud based and run from a smart phone. “Everything is in our pocket,” he says, referring to the phone app. Customers download the app to order their sometimes daily deliveries, and franchisees or employees get a text, dash to the local Sam’s Club or Costco or farmers market to pick up supplies to be delivered the next day. Not only do they deliver, they put the items away and remove all the wrappings and boxes. All for a cost of around $2 to $3 per employee a week. A nice perk that can be part of a bonus program, or in lieu of one, Gaisford suggests. The app tells drivers how much to buy, where to go for it and how to load their car efficiently for speed of delivery.
Salt Lake City is home to several large tech companies and they have proven to be great customers of Snackdash’s services. “We deliver a lot of cereal and milk,” he says, explaining a lot of the techies get to work early and eat breakfast on the job. CPA firms tend to order water and juices to have on hand when clients visit.
Popular items include bananas (around 4,000 bundles last year), Mountain Dew, raspberries, sliced Fuji apples, Red Bull and Greek yogurt. Beef jerky and string cheese is also in some office’s fridges, and in their California territories, they deliver almost no soda, substituting coconut water, carrots and lots of fruit (probably nuts, too).
From their base in Salt Lake City, they plan to expand down the West Coast to Texas and Denver. The franchise fee is $25,000; royalty (which is a percentage of sales) is 3.5 percent, and then there’s a 3.5 percent fee from sales for technology.
The app, Gaisford says, is still being upgraded and refined. “I don’t feel like software is ever done,” he says.