Platterz - 2018/2019

Group Ordering

Platterz’s group ordering service allows for office admin and account managers to set the parameters such as budget, time, and caterer for a meal while giving individual participants the liberty to select their own meals

Business goal

Demand within our client base for a group ordering feature revealed an opportunity for us to align with our competitors, who already offer this service. Not only do group orders serve as an additional feature on our platform, but it also drives spending and engagement. This automated feature increases operational efficiency as account managers will no longer carry the burden of placing individual orders manually.

Role
  • User Interface & Experience Design, Information Architecture, Assistance with product specification planning, User Research.
  • Duration: 4-5 months
  • Team of 2 designers, 2 product managers, 6+ developers

Research

We leveraged clients, who regularly placed individual orders manually through our account managers, to obtain feedback on features they hoped to see in our group ordering service. We questioned the office admins to better understand their pain points with Platterz manual individual ordering service and with our competitors’ group ordering service, to ensure our new feature eased their experience. We also took this opportunity to gain insight into their ordering behaviours to better shape our latest offering.


We compiled a Trello board using our user research and competitive analysis. We then began to sift through and prioritize features for group orders based on a lean MVP. 

Admin Experience

The system prompts the admin to fill out order details such as: budget, headcount, date, and delivery address (unless their default information is already available). Opting in to automatic checkout prompts the admin to add or select a payment method. Once the order deadline is reached, provided the order is within the user’s budget (headcount multiplied by  budget per person), the checkout is triggered. After the setup is complete, the system displays vendors that can accommodate the admin’s indicated delivery details via browse. Once confirmed, the user can invite employees to the group order via direct URL or email invitation. 

Participant Experience

Users can access a group order through a direct URL, a shared link, or an email invite. They are guided to the chosen vendor’s page where they can browse the menu and select their meal. Once the order is confirmed, users proceed to their order’s dashboard unless their selection is above the indicated budget, in which case an error message is triggered.

Challenges

Scope

Although we meticulously scoped an MVP, upper management continued to request additional features, thereby elongating the release of the first version of the group order. As a team we always pushed for a lean solution that we could iterate on in the future.  

Operations

Operationally, group ordering required collaborative efforts involving various teams. Incorporating each vendor’s unique order deadlines and capacity into the service proved to be the most challenging. 

Internal Adoption

Sales and account managers struggled to grasp the new feature hence leading to a gradual adoption rate with our new customers. As a result we concluded that a more robust rollout plan for future iterations could solve this problem from repeating itself.

Iterations

Top-Ups

Top-ups allow group ordering participants to use their own payment method in case their meal selection exceeds the budget allotted by their admin. The feature also allows for flexibility with regards to budgets allocated to the participants. 

Company Directory

Office admins can invite multiple employees using a CSV. Once registered in a company’s directory, employees will automatically be sent group order invites to their emails.

Company Directory

Caterers can download sticker labels with the employees’ name and dish selection printed on it to fulfill their order. Sticker labels allow for simple meal pick up and organization for the companies and employees. 

Platterz - 2018/2019

Group Ordering

Platterz’s group ordering service allows for office admin and account managers to set the parameters such as budget, time, and caterer for a meal while giving individual participants the liberty to select their own meals

Business goal

Demand within our client base for a group ordering feature revealed an opportunity for us to align with our competitors, who already offer this service. Not only do group orders serve as an additional feature on our platform, but it also drives spending and engagement. This automated feature increases operational efficiency as account managers will no longer carry the burden of placing individual orders manually.

Role
  • User Interface & Experience Design, Information Architecture, Assistance with product specification planning, User Research.
  • Duration: 4-5 months
  • Team of 2 designers, 2 product managers, 6+ developers

Research

We leveraged clients, who regularly placed individual orders manually through our account managers, to obtain feedback on features they hoped to see in our group ordering service. We questioned the office admins to better understand their pain points with Platterz manual individual ordering service and with our competitors’ group ordering service, to ensure our new feature eased their experience. We also took this opportunity to gain insight into their ordering behaviours to better shape our latest offering.


We compiled a Trello board using our user research and competitive analysis. We then began to sift through and prioritize features for group orders based on a lean MVP. 

Challenges

Billing & Payment

Having a billing model that differentiated form a standard credit card, we had to devise a unique payment structure to make sure Treat Card employees don’t run out of their program funds.

Since fronting money was high risk, we designed a payment scheme where companies would pay an estimated cost of two months up front, along with their monthly invoice. This structure ensured an extra buffer even if invoice payments were delayed, always allowing the treat program to run smoothly for employees. 

Technical restraints

While conducting internal testing, we realized Treat cardholders could go over their budget when tipping. To solve this, we prompted users to add a personal payment method to cover potential overages prior to activating their Treat card. 

Assumptions

Intended as proof of concept, the Treat project was a beta app. Decisions were made keeping this in mind, leading us to work off of assumptions around consumer behavior and potential client needs instead of extensive consumer research. 

Platterz - 2018/2019

Group Ordering

Platterz’s group ordering service allows for office admin and account managers to set the parameters such as budget, time, and caterer for a meal while giving individual participants the liberty to select their own meals

Business goal

Demand within our client base for a group ordering feature revealed an opportunity for us to align with our competitors, who already offer this service. Not only do group orders serve as an additional feature on our platform, but it also drives spending and engagement. This automated feature increases operational efficiency as account managers will no longer carry the burden of placing individual orders manually.

Role
  • User Interface & Experience Design, Information Architecture, Assistance with product specification planning, User Research.
  • Duration: 4-5 months
  • Team of 2 designers, 2 product managers, 6+ developers

Research

We leveraged clients, who regularly placed individual orders manually through our account managers, to obtain feedback on features they hoped to see in our group ordering service. We questioned the office admins to better understand their pain points with Platterz manual individual ordering service and with our competitors’ group ordering service, to ensure our new feature eased their experience. We also took this opportunity to gain insight into their ordering behaviours to better shape our latest offering.


We compiled a Trello board using our user research and competitive analysis. We then began to sift through and prioritize features for group orders based on a lean MVP.