The Never-Ending Fridge: Build Your Own Limitless Micro Kitchen & More
In Silicon Valley, it’s easy to be jealous of the perks you see at other offices: from private chefs to valet parking. But if your company hasn’t yet reached Google status, chances are high that your office manager stocks your fridge and ships packages by hand. At Envoy, automating the mundane is one of our core values, so we figured out a way to make these tedious office tasks basically hands-off.
Just because we’re a small team doesn’t mean we want to skimp on perks, so in our office, we use the services you might use at home. Apps like Instacart and Postmates make it easy to get the food you want when you want it. No private chef required.
For our employees’ sanity, we manage all of this from a central hub called the Fridge-Phone. Really, it’s just an iPhone in a magnetic case that’s stuck to our fridge; but it feels like so much more.
Since our Fridge-Phone only has the handful of apps we need, we logged into each one with office account that’s linked to a company credit card and address. This is a super simple way to offer unlimited meal and snack privileges, while bypassing expense reports and reimbursements.
Using an old iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and a magnetic mount, you can turn your normal fridge into a hassle-free food machine, too.
Keeping the fridge full
Tracking snack levels and predicting what you’ll need to order next can be a real pain. So, we use our company Instacart app to keep the fridge full. At Envoy, if you’re the last person to enjoy an item, you just add it back into our cart on the app. It’s easy to set up deliveries when your cart is already stocked with exactly what the team wants.
Never skip a meal
It’s proven that you can’t code while hangry, so we provide any meal that’s eaten in the office, no matter what time of day. For lunch we use EAT Club, but if someone forgets to order, or if we’re here for breakfast or dinner, we’ll use Caviar, Sprig, or GrubHub depending on what we’re feeling. All of this is super simple, since anyone can order from the Fridge-Phone.
Bonus tip: If you’re in San Francisco and crave eggs benedict like we do, you can have Postmates deliver from The Grove.
Shipping the goods out
Our Fridge-Phone isn’t just great for food and snacks. Shyp has become a huge time saver. We love to mail shirts and other swag, but we’re just not big enough to need a dedicated UPS or FedEx account. Instead, Shyp takes care of our packing and shipping. You just send them a photo of what you need shipped, and they come pick it up. Since our Fridge-Phone is in a magnetic case, it’s easy to detach it, take a quick photo, and let Shyp do the rest. We even have set up a dedicated Shyp pickup spot in our office!
Single point of contact
Our Fridge-Phone has a specific phone number that we use for all for deliveries to the Envoy office. This way, anyone can answer calls, and we don’t have to deal with phantom calls and texts on our personal numbers. We use Google Hangouts and Google Voice to send and receive texts.
You could also easily set this up as your main number if your building requires a phone number to buzz in.
Make it your own
How else could you extend a super smart fridge? Use it to control a Sonos system, or hook Spotify up to a bluetooth speaker. Add your company’s Twitter account so anyone can respond to tweets. You’re only limited by what’s in the App Store. Definitely send your suggestions to us @signwithenvoy.
Keep on automating
We work really hard to replace tedium with delight. If something can be easier and more fun, we believe it should be. At Envoy, we make visitor registration simple and enjoyable for guests and employees. Try a two-week free trial of Envoy’s Visitor Registration software at signwithenvoy.com.
Big thanks to Wells Riley for setting up our awesome Fridge-Phone system!