Lincolnwood, IL (Nov 30, 2017) – LeanBox, the first high-tech, self-service fresh food solution for the modern workplace, is now launching in Chicago. LeanBox, which has taken Boston by storm in the last two years, with more than 500 clients, transforms workplace culture with 24/7 access to delicious and healthful food.
The concept is simple: place glass-front refrigerators in offices and fill them with freshly made foods such as a breakfast sausage-egg biscuit, Peri-Peri chicken sandwich, sesame-glazed salmon with Asian greens, and grain or Udon noodle bowls. Drinks and snack kits are also available, like a “Cross Fit Kit” of cage-free eggs, fruits and nuts and a “Little Italy” antipasto kit.
An app lets employees authorize and open the LeanBox, make their choices, and pay for their items on the spot by scanning them on a tablet on the front of the LeanBox. There are options for every part of the day: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner for late nights at the office or even food to take home to enjoy.
“People are more interested and informed than ever when it comes to food, making food one of the most important aspects of workplace culture,” said LeanBox Chicago Managing Director Masa Matsumura. “The challenge we saw was access. People don’t want to be told when and where they can get great food — they want it on-demand. LeanBox is giving companies an opportunity to deliver on this, and evolve their food service program. Our technology brings delicious, clean, and crave-able items within the four walls of the workplace community, which can potentially boost the entire culture of a company, from employee happiness and productivity to retention.”
Fresh foods in every LeanBox are globally inspired, thoughtfully sourced, and replenished every two days. Menu items feature the ethnic flavors and ingredients that people are seeking, like Mediterranean z’hatar-rubbed chicken breast and Portabello Barbacoa, as well as snack boxes starring Italian charcuterie or hummus with fresh-cut vegetables. LeanBox items range in price from $1.50 for a protein bar to $8.50 for a gourmet entrée salad.
LeanBox fills a major gap in the corporate food service market. While offices with over 1,000 employees can build out a café and run it 24/7, the sweet spot for LeanBox is companies with 50-500 employees, where traditional options have been scarce.
LeanBox Co-founder and CEO Shea Coakley started LeanBox after too many late-night workplace “meals” consisting of chips and a can of soda. “The workplace has changed dramatically over the last decade,” said Coakley. “Employees are working all types of hours, sometimes eating breakfast, snacks, lunch and even dinner at work. LeanBox is the only way companies can offer great fresh food to employees 24 hours a day.”
Coakley also notes the efficiencies gained by consolidating food service through LeanBox. “Companies, on average, juggle up to 13 vendors for workplace food and beverage needs. LeanBox can cut that down to one vendor,” he adds.
Chicago food service company Food For Thought is LeanBox’s local partner, responsible for food R&D and menu innovation. “We are excited about filling every LeanBox in Chicago with amazing food, from delicious, ethnically inspired fresh foods to the most appealing snacks and drinks,” said Nancy Sharp, CEO and president of Food For Thought. “LeanBox is a break-through solution for so many companies that want to offer employees ‘round-the-clock access to great food at a reasonable price, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
LeanBox, headquartered in Boston, began in 2014 when entrepreneurs Shea Coakley and Peter Roy, got tired of subsisting on less than highly desirable food during their working hours. Their original goal: launch a chain of quick-service cafés with healthy offerings for the working masses. When a small side operation took off, the duo began to rethink their focus and created LeanBox. LeanBox Great Lakes is a joint venture between Lincolnwood-based catering and food service company Food For Thought and LeanBox. Food For Thought is one of Chicago’s largest and most respected catering and food service companies, serving Chicagoland social, non-for-profit and corporate clients. For more information, please visit www.leanbox.com .
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