At Mentimeter we have one bell that rings daily, it is one of the most important sounds you’ll hear in the office and it isn’t for when the sales team closes a deal…. It is for lunch!
Eating together really is that important to us, it brings us together, it gives us the feeling of being one unit. It is part of our ‘the power of together’ philosophy. As in most homes, the kitchen at Menti really is the heart of the office. It is the meeting point, where you can grab a snack, a coffee and go from small talk to family and personal interests.
We are lucky that we have our in-house chef Sara that delivers delicious and healthy plant-based and gluten-free meals every day as one of our Menti perks. But, it doesn’t stop there, she also serves delicious breakfast once a week and keeps our fridge and cupboards stocked up with everyone’s favourites.
“Cooking and food have been a part of my life since I first started to learn to walk. I spent my first years at my grandparents house where they ran an all-organic garden market. Most of the time I would walk through the endless rows of cucumbers and tomato plants in the greenhouses or out on the rainbow-colored fields of vegetables and berries. It definitely developed my palette to eat a variety of freshly harvested vegetables.
Food quickly became my passion and I started reading cookery books and magazines to learn more. I cooked my first meal when I was 9 years old and kept going. At the age of 17 years, I was self-taught and worked in a commercial kitchen. When I was 25 years old I ran my own restaurant in Paris. But then, in all this, my focus shifted. I became a mother.
My cooking all of a sudden focused on the togetherness. I allowed myself to see that a meal together could become more than just getting fed, but more to share an experience, to share stories, to listen and learn. It was our moment to be present with each other and forget whatever was going on in the world just for that meal.
That is what still inspires me today to create a similar feeling among people who aren’t necessarily related.”
“For me, inclusive eating is about having one family-style dinner. Sitting down together all sharing the same food.” It brings a sort of humbleness that no matter whether you are the CEO or an intern everyone can have a chat about whatever springs to mind and no topics are off-limits. Our lunches bring people together, it gives people an opportunity to integrate, to introduce new team members and to make sure that no one eats alone.
“It gives me the opportunity to get to know more of my Mentimeter colleagues in a way that wouldn’t be possible without these lunches.” - Johanna, VP Marketing
Having food served in the office of course saves time, but it encourages us to get to know each other on a deeper and more personal level than just work colleagues. It leads the way for us to do non-work things together like play a game of ping pong or take the office doggos out for a walk. This time builds our connections and helps us to understand one another better which in turn helps us to improve how we work together. It breaks silos and does wonders with information sharing, problem solving and innovation. It is the foundation to building our culture that we thrive in today. A culture of feeling safe, appreciated and one that encourages open communication.
“I think eating home-cooked meals together is great for both strengthening team bonding and also ensuring we stay healthy and work effectively.” - Sofia, SDR
The food served at the office always includes a plant-based and gluten-free option. Sara works tirelessly to make sure that no matter what food preferences you have that we can eat together with colleagues and enjoy one family-style meal.
The plant-based food isn’t just about following the ‘vegan’ trend. It is much bigger than that. It is about lowering our environmental impact, which is something we take seriously at Mentimeter. Sara uses Klimato frequently to help reduce the climate impact of the food she serves and to help her cook meals with the lowest climate footprint.
People should try and opt for a largely plant-based diet in order to reduce the carbon footprint and we try to follow that guide at Mentimeter. “We try to use no plastic, no straws but that is just a fragment of what you can do. We eat less meat and by changing one meal a day we can do a lot. It also gives me the extra challenge to make food that still fills people up and makes them feel proud that they can make a difference by something so simple as changing one meal a day to plant-based.”
“I put a lot of effort into making plant-based and gluten-free that can be both comfort food, healthy, good for the environment and made out of seasonal vegetables. Most of the produce is organic, in-season and local. I try to make it interesting enough that you can learn something from just eating, about a new vegetable, a new technique or a new kind of spice so that the eating experience becomes more than just being fed every day. The bigger challenge for me is that the food completes your day.”
To discover more about other initiatives at Mentimeter, check out our culture page.