“We really are a purpose-driven company.”

– Lauren Noce, Senior Director of Corporate Sales at HUNGRY

 

HUNGRY is a platform that makes it economical and efficient for companies to buy catered meals from seasoned chefs. Among other things, they make it easier to manage the logistics associated with getting healthy, fresh food into a corporate setting – including setup and clean up.

Despite being a startup themselves, HUNGRY gives back, donating one meal to Feeding America for every meal that is purchased. They also take active steps to minimize their carbon footprint, using biodegradable cutlery and packaging.

In this conversation, part of the Logistics with Purpose series, Lauren shares her perspective with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • Converting from office catering to home delivery nearly overnight to keep chefs working after the COVID-19 shutdown
  • How an entrepreneurial mindset can be applied to unpredictable business conditions of all types – whether securing the funding to fuel growth or responding to disruption
  • Why talent development has to be proactive and opportunistic if having the right people on the team is critical to growth

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world. Supply chain now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:28):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. On today’s episode, we are continuing our logistics with purpose series here, PowerBar difference over at effector global logistics on this series, we spotlight leaders and organizations that are own a noble mission and really they’re changing the world in one way, shape, or form. So stay tuned as we look to increase your supply chain leadership IQ. One quick programming note right before we get started here. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. I want to welcome in my esteemed fearless co-hosts on today’s show, mr Enrique Alvarez, managing director with vector global logistics. Enrique, how are you doing?

Enrique Alvarez (01:15):

Hey Scott, how are you doing today? I’m doing great. Thanks for asking. Um, us always, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Scott Luton (01:22):

Well, I really appreciate your support and spotlight and these organizations that are all on, on these, uh, vital missions and, uh, and, and lately it’s been great to kind of get caught up and, and get some of these stories out. Uh, with everybody’s crazy schedules. It’s, uh, it’s always challenging to get movers and shakers schedules to align, right?

Enrique Alvarez (01:43):

No, I totally agree. But I think, uh, I’m really looking forward to this episode. It’s going to be definitely gonna be fun and interesting and I’m just really happy. Do you have Lauren here with us as well?

Scott Luton (01:54):

Agreed. Absolutely. Looking forward to learn a lot more. So on that note, let’s welcome in our featured guests here today on supply chain. Now Lauren knows senior director of corporate sales with hungry, which is a very unique Virginia base food tech startup that’s making a huge impact in the street. Lauren, good afternoon.

Lauren Noce (02:13):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott. Hi Enrique. How’s everyone doing?

Scott Luton (02:18):

Doing fantastic. As an, as Enrique said, uh, not only did we love this series, but we love stories like, like what I believe we’re going to hear from you and what your organization is up to. And on top of it all, it’s a beautiful April day in Georgia. It’s gorgeous outside, which, given all the other elements of the current environment, we’re all breaking through. That’s a good thing.

Lauren Noce (02:43):

Yeah, it absolutely. I was, it’s so nice to see the sun dorms are done. So, yeah, it’s been great while there tonight.

Scott Luton (02:50):

You bet. All right, so, and Reiki, we’re going to dive right in. So Lauren, before we start talking more about, ah, hungry, let’s start with getting

Lauren Noce (03:00):

to know you a little bit better. So tell us about where you’re from and give us, uh, a story or two from your upbringing. Yeah, absolutely. So I am, uh, kind of Midwest born and bred. So I was born in st Louis, Missouri and I lived there till I was about nine. We moved to, my dad got transferred. He was in, um, you know, consumer packaged goods still is. Um, so he, we moved up to Minneapolis, um, Minnesota, the suburbs there. So I probably went to high school and, uh, kind of that’s where home was for a long time. And then, you know, I centered to Chicago, so I went to college at Loyola university in Chicago, uh, which was not really known for much up until, you know, our basketball team, uh, last year, which was really, really cool to see. But, um, okay. I made it not quite

Scott Luton (03:55):

well. What’s the mascot at Loyola?

Lauren Noce (03:59):

Uh, it’s a rambler actually. Yeah. So it’s a Wolf.

Scott Luton (04:02):

Okay. Thank you. Yeah, I’ll tell you what, that with the sports environment right now, it’s interesting how quickly your memory fades. So the Loyola Ramblers, right?

Lauren Noce (04:13):

Yup. Yup, yep. And I mean, when I was in Loyola or when I was, you know, attending Loyola, I would say that sports were not really the highlight. I was also not very focused on for the time. So, um, I would probably, the most that I watched loyal about faults, sadly, is when they were in the final four last year. So.

Scott Luton (04:36):

Awesome. Okay. I got it. I gotta tell ya, from st Louis and Minneapolis to Chicago, three of, uh, of the really coolest cities in the country, certainly in the Midwest. What a wonderful, um, early journey in your life.

Lauren Noce (04:54):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s funny, I mean I still, you know, I get back to all of them. Um, you know, my family is from st Louis, so we go there every year for Thanksgiving. We go to the city museum, we eat pizza, kind of like the quintessential st Louis thing. My brother’s still in Minneapolis and Chicago is really kind of, you know, I was there for about 11 years in Chicago. It’s know where I really started my career. Um, you know, I started there in beer sales, I worked for a beer distributor right in downtown Chicago and we have, which was really kind of up and coming at the time. Um, now it’s blown up. It’s amazing. Um, but you know, I started there and you know, Chicago really feels mostly like home cause I bopped around a little bit. But, um, yeah, so I started in beer sales in Chicago and kind of worked my way up there. And then

Scott Luton (05:48):

let me ask you real quick Lauren, before, before we talk about your professional journey, cause I know Enrique has got an interesting question. One more question. Your um, uh, st Louis in particular, uh, having spent a couple of years in Wichita and made some of the drives back and forth, believe it or not, from East coast to Kansas and driving through st Louis when the arts first appears. It is absolutely captivating. I think it’s one of my favorite. Um, you know, certainly American landmarks. Is that a, is that part of your ventures back each year or does that kind of get old once you’ve been there for awhile?

Lauren Noce (06:24):

No, I mean I moved when I was nine, so you know, it’s funny cause I, you know, I remember all the family and everything living there, but I don’t, I remember as much about like actually living there. But it’s still, it’s such a part of me still time. You know, when I was living in Chicago, it was only a five hour drive from st Louis. So, you know, we would drive back and my now husband would come with me and I did like, wait, just wait for it, wait for it. And you know, you round the corner and

Scott Luton (06:53):

that’s awesome.

Lauren Noce (06:54):

Amazing. I always tell him, you know, my fun fact, I’m like, you know,

Scott Luton (06:58):

right. And he’s like, I know, I’m like blown mind blown. Alright, one more really important question. Yeah. Uh, Chicago and st Louis have a lot in common Latin contrast, but their baseball teams have a heated rivalry. So are you a Cardinals fan or a Cubs fan or neither?

Lauren Noce (07:21):

So by birthright I’m a Cardinal plan, but my, you know, PayTech for a long time working for a beer distributor in, uh, the city of Chicago depended on the Cub’s success.

Scott Luton (07:34):

No, it was only kind of a,

Lauren Noce (07:36):

you know, kind of a push and pull there a little bit, but you know,

Scott Luton (07:39):

that’s good.

Lauren Noce (07:40):

Probably I lean a little bit more, more Cardinals.

Scott Luton (07:43):

Gotcha. That push and pull is a healthy dynamic. Alright. So Enrique, let’s bring you in to the conversation. I know you’ve got a question too about the professional journey that Lauren has already kind of alluded to a little bit.

Enrique Alvarez (07:55):

Yes, no, I mean you’re already started talking a little bit about your

Scott Luton (07:59):

barely

Enrique Alvarez (08:00):

years in Chicago and then working for this beer distributor, but how, what other kind of, uh, how do you, uh, have you kind of had, and how did you end up with a hungry now? What was the little bit of your professional journey prior, what you currently have? What basically led you away from Chicago? Clearly here into Atlanta and with this very exciting, uh, tech startup tech food startup as Scott described it at the beginning.

Lauren Noce (08:28):

Yeah. So, um, like I said, I started like fresh out of college. I started as a on premise Mmm. Sales rep for, you know, bars and restaurants on premise, meaning, you know, consuming on,

Scott Luton (08:42):

yeah.

Lauren Noce (08:43):

So bars and restaurants where my clients, uh, trying to get them to buy in on, you know, beers ranging from Budweiser and bud light up to like very expensive craft beers. And so really kind of found a passion in that learning about things. I didn’t know, there wasn’t kind of women in the beer industry. So that was really interesting to me to try and, okay. Yeah. Become more of a, um, were knowledgeable and in a role that, um, I didn’t know as much about. So I studied a lot and made really good relationships and really kind of found my niche there and yeah. Mmm. With the company I was at there and became a key account manager managing kind of some of the bus sure. Mmm. Bars and restaurants, they’re really kind of holding the hand of those relations chips and fostering growth there. Um, and then I eventually became a brand manager.

Lauren Noce (09:35):

So working on the marketing side, working directly with the breweries. Um, I had about a 13, I think by the time I left the company, uh, went through an acquisition. I stayed for about a year and a half. The funny thing was one of the last projects I actually worked on, yeah, the wholesaler, uh, was launching Sweetwater, uh, from Atlanta. So they were entering the Chicago market. That was like my project. I worked on it for a long time and I, my last week was the week that Sweetwater launched in Chicago. So that was Mmm. Pretty exciting and pretty fun. But I, you know, I was just kind of ready for a change. Yeah. No cold in Chicago. And so I told my now husband, I was like, I’m moving them or you can stay. And he was like, obviously,

Scott Luton (10:23):

yeah. You know, right now I’m sure I’m probably preaching to the choir and I think I’ve got the number right. It could be off, but a beverage cells I think have spiked, uh, or, or the man has risen 240%, I believe. And I think that’s a March figure. I could be wrong. Uh, do you still have a lot of colleagues in the industry that are having banner years?

Lauren Noce (10:43):

Well, um, yes and no. So my friends and kind of the more, um, domestic here, like domestic here is really on the rise. A lot of where I spent my time was really in like a, okay, pretty nichey kind of craft world, um, where there’s more and more microbreweries and breweries opening every day. I think a lot of those athlete, yes. Um, a lot of that demand is focused on, you know, scarcity and rarity and new, you know, new beers coming out and without people really being able to shop then go either local brewery and spend the time and really invested their people when they’re going to the, you know, doors now they’re just kind of shopping what they know. Um, so a lot of like really awesome breweries and really like midsize great breweries too, or just struggling a little bit, but like, that’s bridge sales. Okay. Beers here’s been struggling for a little bit, but the rise of like hard seltzer and that kind of stuff hasn’t been great for it. They are delicious drinks. I like, I like a that myself, but it’s, you know, it’s,

Scott Luton (11:57):

it’s the market

Lauren Noce (11:58):

shaking out a little bit. So, you know, we’ll just kind of see where it goes.

Scott Luton (12:01):

I had no idea. Uh, that’s interesting. So, not that you were just about to talk about your, um, venture to somewhere warmer and you bring in your husband along. So, so tell us more about that.

Lauren Noce (12:16):

Yeah, so we, I actually got poached by one of the brands that I was managing in Chicago. So it was an importer that handle the, I felt like 13 breweries ranging from really small microbreweries and really tiny breweries and Belgium and kind of all over, uh, the play. So I, I moved to Charleston with my husband and, uh, with managing nine States in the Southeast. And we were there for just over a year. He was actually in the beer world as well. He works for another brewery. So he was managing a couple of States down there as well. It was just a little, it was a little bit of a, okay. Low lifestyle in Charleston where we’re still used to kind of that Chicago lifestyle. So we were both really easily able to move from Charleston to Atlanta with our jobs, cause we covered, you know, larger territories.

Lauren Noce (13:14):

And so we hopped over and we’ve been here about, or yours now. We’d love it. Mmm Oh, then to East Lake and then, uh, you know, on the East side of the city. And we’ve loved that. Um, and then I would say, so I was with the importer about two years and loved them, but then I was actually approached by one of the brands within that portfolio to be there. Yeah. National sales manager. So I was the national sales manager for close to a year and a half, um, for a brewery located in Louisville, Kentucky. And I just kind of continued it. So I was, you know, traveling all over the country and the world, kind of going to manage, uh, the distribution channels, managing the wholesalers. I’m helping sales reps helping, you know, on the marketing side as well. A little bit. Mmm. And the travel with just a lot. So I started thinking about, you know, maybe if I, I could find somewhere a little bit, you know, stay a little closer to home, not traveling three ish a year. So, I mean, honestly, it was such a quick, I really kind of updated my resume, has stayed in my LinkedIn and coming from Hungary reached out to me with them 24 hours. I would say it was pretty, yeah, it was, it was almost too quick. I was like, should I even say this out loud yet?

Scott Luton (14:39):

Okay.

Lauren Noce (14:39):

Excited about it. It was like, it was such an amazing opportunity. They were starting, they had just gotten there, series a funding. So, and we had gotten some really amazing investors and with that we’re going to open the third city being Atlanta. So this was right about this time last year, maybe, you know, couple of weeks ago last year we started talking and you know, they said yes, ushers invested JCE, um, started a venture capital firm. Hungary was their first investment, which is super exciting, comfortably from top chef in bed. It was really all these like unbelievable kind of powerhouses and food and entertainment. I’d always been a foodie and

Scott Luton (15:24):

you know, so a lot of successful people saw the opportunity and rallied behind what hunger was doing. Uh, and, and we’ll learn more about that, but for starters, if you could, and then Rica, uh, I’m, I’m so glad. I think you’re very familiar with the hungry organization and our mission. I’m looking forward to informing the rest of our audience, uh, about what Hungary is doing. But, but Lauren, tell us what is at the core of what hungry does.

Lauren Noce (15:53):

So we really are a purpose driven company. So, uh, you know, the company is one that was originally designed for corporate catering. I’m doing essentially for chef Uber did for drivers. So finding amazing local chefs, not restaurant chefs, but local chefs cooking out of like these almost like we work commercial kitchen throughout the city. Um, and they’re, you know, James Beard winners. They are, um, you know, they’ve won local contests. We have season 12 of top chef. Mmm. The winner of the next, or not Topshop, I’m sorry, the next food network star chapter game, like really amazing local shots. Uh, kind of in every hungry city that are able, what we would do is partnered them with, um, corporate clients. So we would go handle all the stuff, sales, marketing, everything. The chef really gets to do what they love. So they’re in the kitchen, they’re cooking the food that third grandmother taught them, you know, the food that they were raised, where they went to look hard on blue or you know, wherever they may have gotten there, you know, their teeth in and really, you know, started their career and their love of cooking.

Lauren Noce (17:07):

And we let them focus on that and we handle everything else. You know, from the logistics. Yeah. Really big part of it. Corporate catering. It’s one of the main pain points is delivery, you know, so we’re able to provide amazing food for corporate clients with Mmm. Really amazing delivery. And then we also have like a big sustainability Mmm. Sustainability focus as well as a giveback focus as well. So, you know, for our corporate clients, for every two meals they would ordered, you know, for weekly lunch or meetings or whatever, we would donate one back through a partnership with feeding America.

Scott Luton (17:48):

Love that. So let’s, um, so I want to circle back to the logistics that is part of Hungary, but before I do Enrique, Mmm. I’ve got a hunch of what your answer will be, but I love when Lauren said how much of a purpose driven company that hungry is a bit, we both admire that. But what else from your interactions thus far with hungry, what else do you admire about their operation?

Enrique Alvarez (18:12):

Well, they, uh, they’re really running that ship. I have gone the opportunity given that their neighbors here at King blog, you got to know them, uh, personally, uh, get to know their Atlanta team and staff at least personally. They are really, they’re really purpose driven is the same, but they also like people driven like they’re good people, good values laid back, straightforward, honest, hardworking. I mean you see them here very late. I’m sure you’ve fully seen them as well. Uh, they come here and sunlight.

Scott Luton (18:48):

Yeah, I think that’s a really good

Enrique Alvarez (18:50):

corporate culture that’s focused on really making the world a better place. And at the same time, people that are working for them as a client and someone that kind of, some of what they do, they’re having fun. They’re, they’re have a good culture. Uh, we are, we’re blessed having them as neighbors cause when they have the tastings and things like that, we get the, the invite for trying some of this amazing food and they seem to be a really good group of people.

Scott Luton (19:19):

Love that. Um, alright, so let’s shift gears. Lauren, I want to definitely touch on a couple of things you shared. Talk more about the logistics behind the operational logistics and then sustainability and then give back. Those are three elements that you touched on a minute ago when you think of logistics behind the operation and how, how big of an operation that is. Uh, tomorrow. Okay. Tell me, uh, tell us more. Sorry.

Lauren Noce (19:46):

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we have, um, really a proprietary logistics platform. So like I would say one of the main pain points. Mmm. They’re, our clients, always had his, you know, these meetings, a lot of our clients that people, but we are in contact with day in, day out are, you know, administrative assistants, executive assistant, then what’s the option? Mmm. People who were kind of tasks. Okay. Ordering food for the office, which can sound fun and glamorous and that, you know, quickly realized that that’s so, um, in terms of just logistics and making our clients’ lives easier and helping them. Um, you know, when they place an order, if they say, uh, we won, like, you know, why don’t you show up at 1130 on Wednesday day for our lunch. We say, what time are you eating? We work off of the food ready to eat by time, but they tell us 11 or, you know, well, the meeting starts noon.

Lauren Noce (20:47):

Okay. So we back out from there. We factor in the time for our catering captain. Okay. Now our delivery captain or catering captain to our food safety train. Mmm. Really take pride in their work. It’s clean. They’re, you know, they’re always wearing their aprons or hats, pride in their appearance. They’re, you know, they’re very professional. They check in at our office, they go to the chef kitchen directly. They have hot boxes, uh, cold bags, whatever they need, they count pan. So it’s okay. I’m supposed to have 12 half pans of chicken cheque. Oh, there’s only 11 pans of rice. There was supposed to be 13 holes. Hi. They called there. You know, there’s a lot of like a system of checks and balances to prevent kind of all of the, all of the pain points that happen. Getting that food being late. We factor in traffic, the patterns we use, you know, logistics with routing to make sure we have time to get to the client’s place.

Lauren Noce (21:50):

And maybe they get their own time. But clients elevator takes 20 minutes sometimes. So really factoring in the time it takes to get up to the client and they set everything up. They lay a knife, it’s red run, they’re down. They, you know, think about the flow of the food. So you know, it starts with us well at first, okay. Then it goes your proteins at the end. It starts with the rice. So it, you know, everything’s really been thought out. They, I got it all up. There’s scoop labels that um, indicate if right is gluten-free, contains gluten, contains any of the major allergens. Mmm. Or if it’s dairy free or vegan really spells it out great. Clear, right. Four, anyone going through the line? Can you see what they can and cannot have? Mmm. So they set that all up. Even our little like packs are at the end.

Lauren Noce (22:45):

Our little colory packs that have a napkin. A uh, yeah. Nice. Soon our plate. Are you assembled cleanability factor, all of that provided and then complimentary. Our catering captains will come back an hour after. Um, our clients, it’s done eating. They’ll bring to go boxes, so box up any leftovers forums, so clean everything off and get out of their hair. They take the garbage with them, the event, you know, so really trying to manage that process and I shouldn’t taking a lot of ownership of it because that’s where a lot of our competitors fall short. They just don’t, they don’t pretend to have any part of the right ownership of the process. You know, if another, you know, competitor’s latest, Oh, that was the restaurant’s fault or that was, well, it’s a third party delivery service. So really trying to control. Mmm, yeah, yeah, exactly.

Enrique Alvarez (23:47):

One of the things that Lauren touched on is something that we’ve used them many times, just two and a half to do anything. Right. And as she was saying, like, just ordering food for everyone at the office could be challenging, but just after that, then you have to clean and take out the trash and pick up some of the empty plates. And so one of the benefits, I think it’s just just incredible how efficient they work and then everything’s taken care of at the end of each meal. So there’s really no fine that they were even there.

Scott Luton (24:21):

Yeah. So, um, let’s talk about the give back. You mentioned two meals with your big corporate clients. One meal gets donated back. That is, that’s, that’s huge. Tell us more about that.

Lauren Noce (24:36):

Yeah, so that’s a partnership that we started, you know, really early on with our relationship. You know, owners are kind of serial entrepreneurs and really wanted, when they were starting hungry, they really wanted to make sure it was that driven company. They wanted to better the lives and that being a big part of that being our community. So, you know, they knew that they wanted to grow this business. How do we do that? Do we, you know, okay, relationships in each city, how should this best work? And really they found, Mmm. They were able to strike a partnership with feeding America who has been. So with the [inaudible] 19, all of that feeding America’s really been instrumental in helping, you know, feed the masses and everything. So it feels nice to know that our companies still continuing that give back program with them. So yeah, like I said, for every two meals that a client orders from Austin, we donate one back through that partnership with feeding America.

Scott Luton (25:40):

I love that, that, that, that is such a, uh, a meaningful, practical give back. Right. And, and, and, uh, I can only imagine the impact you’re having with that. Um, one of the elements before we move on, kind of and go a little more global in the discussion is you mentioned a commitment to sustainability. Uh, give us an example or two of that.

Lauren Noce (26:02):

Yeah. So really trying to, um, take every step we can to minimize our carbon footprint where we’re able to, so all of the cutlery packs, um, that we use, they come in little, it looks like little plastic packs that they hungry on it with a, it looks like a little plastic, so nice. But there are actually all biodegradable. Even the, the, yeah. Cellophane wrapping. I believe they’re all potato based now. So really taking that extra step, it’s not, you know, it’s not the cheaper route. We could have gone that, but we really wanted to make sure we’re doing our part. We know that like with food delivery, it can be so wasteful. It’s all the, you know, those Tyra foam and all this stuff that gets used once and then go directly to a landfill. Mmm. So that even our, um, the bulls or the plates or whatever the, you know, okay. Format for where you’re building your meal, um, that is all compostable as well and biodegradable. And then, um, when our captains come back, you know, they’re really nice, a feature that we call it the VIP cleanup service. When they come and they do the cleanup Mmm.

Lauren Noce (27:12):

For our clients, but they’re able then to recycle the racks if cycle the pan, then, uh, really take that out extra step as well. Because, you know, the easier thing for any client to do it, it’s messy, it’s soupy, there’s sauces and they don’t want to deal with like rinsing it out and recycling it. I mean, the easiest thing to do is, so try not to spill it, just get it to the trash.

Scott Luton (27:35):

Yes. And I love, I’m a still your, um, your adjective soupy. Uh, that’s a good one. I’m gonna add to my vocabulary. I’ll tell ya on that note, um, one of my most home, uh, humbling, uh, career stops was bus or for a seafood restaurant. So I’m very familiar with the cleanup on that side of things. Um, alright, so in recap, I want to bring you back in. Uh, I know from here we kind of want to get Lauren to weigh in on, on the global view of things happening. Um, a lot of folks don’t. I think all of us, myself certainly included have a gap, uh, oftentimes with how companies that are in food or in hospitality or in the beverage industry, you know, there is a logistics in a supply chain operation behind them. I think that’s, uh, sometimes we lose sight of that. But Rica, let’s talk with Lauren about the global industry here.

Enrique Alvarez (28:32):

Yes, no. And the question for you, Lauren, is, and you described your operation perfectly and you guys been doing it and it’s been tested and everyone, uh, your company is smart, but then all of a sudden this girl virus hit everyone and you basically have to shut down and reinvent yourselves. And a couple of weeks. How do you, I mean, how do you go and you and your team and everyone at hungry, how do you guys remember as quickly as you can to make sure that you continue in your purpose and your cost, but then also float and even growing it as possible? How, what kind of, I guess, what kind of suggestions or advice or just the mind to that you guys have to have to, to um, react so quickly and told us and then tell

Scott Luton (29:22):

Scott’s listeners about that.

Lauren Noce (29:25):

Yeah, so I mean, essentially our company overnight, once everyone left the offices, which was pretty much the end or middle of March went, you know, we lost our 95% of our revenue almost overnight. You know, all of our business for the most part, corporate. Yeah. Clientele in offices from anything from small meeting for eight to, you know, weekly staff lunches for 400. You know, that was really what we then, we never really, you know, it was always very like Mmm B to B, never really like business to consumer with something that we had tried really quickly right at the beginning of hungry before my time. But it wasn’t something that, Mmm. The company decided what the best kind of focus for us. So really, so we closed our second round of funding. Mmm. First week in March, right before all of this happened. So we got some really amazing new investors, but we got, um, you know, a little bit of money.

Lauren Noce (30:28):

So we weren’t stressed out. It wasn’t, you know, we didn’t have, yeah, that panic of all of our revenue has gone. We have to shut our doors because we saw that happen pretty quickly with a lot of our Oh competitors. And really it was just keep calling their clients, keep maintaining that relationship. We’ve got something we’re working on and within honestly, three days we started hearing about like little teasers from our company, like hungry at home and all of a sudden, you know, five days later, weird calling our those same clients and saying, we know your team’s at home now. And like, we are now providing meals directly to your door. Mmm. You know, it started as like a subscription plan, but you can sign up for weekly or just one time I’m or whatever. But yeah, we really made the change to change the portion from corporate style change, really the, you know, okay.

Lauren Noce (31:23):

Offerings as well. So we worked with our chef to try and keep them in the kitchen. The last thing we wanted was, you know, everyone, you know, the jobless rate starts going through the roof and we wanted to do whatever we could to try and keep our chefs in the kitchen, keep our, uh, we’re now calling them, cause they’re not really Caitlin captains anymore. They’re our delivery captain. Mmm. Keep them working with a purpose and, you know, keep our team, you know, we have teams now where [inaudible] cause the last thing we wanted to do was to kind of go like close the doors and wait it out because I think it’s going to be a very different, you know, it’s gonna be a very different yeah. Dean, when we all come back to it, I think everyone gonna be back soon. Ish. Um, but it, you know what that’s gonna look like.

Lauren Noce (32:09):

I think we don’t, we don’t know as of yet. So, um, really it’s then so inspiring to see the leaders of our company put their heads together and really like get behind a new idea and launch it within, okay. Four days. I mean really, like our minds were blown. We had our tech team. It was all in house. Our tech team was working around the clock to get a website that consumers could go, Mmm. You know, and start so describing themselves. They’re setting up their own meal plans seven days, which is just unheard of. But it’s been so exciting to watch the change. Completely different model. We’re now going directly to consumers. So you know, we’re still reaching out to those, same with clients, but a lot of our clients are from load or you know, not yet. They’re not in office anymore, but we’re saying, you know, we know you still have to eat.

Lauren Noce (33:06):

We have offerings for your family now. So it started and we’re just doing kind of portions of Mmm eight okay. Then you know, you have free delivery if you sign up for, that’s okay. Corruption, you can do once a week, twice a week, three times a week. You can do every other week. Mmm. Or we’re now offering, you know, meals for four starting at $50 with a $5 delivery, which is really like we order, yeah. Indian food here and I swear it’s $85 for me. And my husband were like, what did we get? But you know, we didn’t, we didn’t want to do, it’s not our way to do the like hidden delivery fees and the surcharges and all of that. We really wanted to like give people a really easy way to ordered delicious foods. Like a lot of the people at home, they’ll have that full time job and the kids are home and yeah, there they’re strapped for time there. You know, I don’t have children myself, but from what I understand, you have to feed them almost every day,

Enrique Alvarez (34:09):

every hour, every day, almost every day, sometimes even three times a day. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Lauren, Laura and I will quick follow up question a lot. Um, you mention about the leadership of the company and that’s a reflection of the culture you have. And it’s very, very clear if you, if, if anyone ever works with you and

Lauren Noce (34:32):

okay, well,

Enrique Alvarez (34:33):

well, what makes a good team and your opinion? And maybe you could give us a little more about it. W what makes a good team like your skin go through this challenge? Graceful even. Cause, uh, it’s a hard thing to do and you’re tough. So many different questions and unknowns. Every different level. When you guys hit before, what do you need to pull that off?

Lauren Noce (34:57):

Yeah, I mean, I wish I had the secret sauce. I think we just, you know, I think we’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to bring in good people. Like it’s very important to us that, you know, just the people feel right and you need to be able to adapt quickly. And because we’re a very, like, even before or hungry at home, our company was moving and innovating and, you know, the wheels are never stopping. We’re always trying to, you know, reach the next milestone or you know, better ourselves and pivot and really be adaptable to the market needs. Mmm. Really kind of like focus on

Enrique Alvarez (35:37):

sure.

Lauren Noce (35:37):

Having a really good attitude about it. Mmm. And if you’re, you know, it’s not for everyone startup lifestyle. It’s, you know, it’s stressful and you know, the, the direction can change overnight. You just have to be like, you know what, that’s awesome. And this is, this is the way we’re going now. And you know, our company is not afraid to try something and see if it works. And if it doesn’t, we’re going to find something else. But they’re, you know, they’re not afraid. Okay. Fail at something cause they know that that’s how, that’s how, you know, new ideas come and really you got to try new things. But we have really, really brilliant, uh, you know, leadership with us. Um, you know, we have shy and Amman Pagani who are brothers, uh, Shai had kind of the tech operation in mine, does a lot of the marketing and then Jeff brass.

Lauren Noce (36:29):

Mmm. He is our COO and you know, handle kind of the finance. But I mean, they’re all so accessible. You can pick up the phone and call them and they’ll questions and they’re so playful. Just Eric so much. Okay. You would feel silly if you didn’t almost, you know, you really just, you’re so inspired by them and their leadership that you just really want to do here. Yes. But man, what a, what a, uh, empowering and a compelling culture you’re describing. I want to go back on the front of this conversation. You were talking about some of the investors and, and uh, I could be wrong, I noticed in a press release earlier today or maybe yesterday that mink PSI, which is like old school food network, you mentioned the food network star, which is kind of current day, but back in the day, okay. Two hot tamales and M role in being Sy food network, uh, old school. [inaudible]

Lauren Noce (37:31):

yeah, that’s right. Absolutely. So what, uh, I mean, y’all have got one heck of an all star investment lineup. We really do. I mean, we have, you know, one of the, uh, I mean just our, our board is stacked Mmm. With really brilliant minds and I think that’s all, it’s all our leadership, but just been shy in a mine and their vision is so connected calling and when you hear them talk about it, you just want to be a part of it. So it really is sure there, because they’re going to do you, you know, that like giving them your money and giving them their trust and like in that thing in their business, it’s not going to fail because they won’t let it. So it really like kind of comes down to that. But yeah, we have amazing mentors. Aye. Mmm. Todd Gurley who coming to the Falcon is, yeah. Uh, Kevin Hart. Um, I’m really, I’m not great with all of them, but you know, one of the, one of the cool things

Scott Luton (38:36):

at play here with this conversation and, and how you’re approaching the conversation, which is so great for the supply chain industry and logistics and transportation is it [inaudible] it shows different applications. You know, folks that may not be foodies, they may not be shifts and they may not, uh, other roles within organizations like Hungary, it may not appeal to them. However, the logistics side of the house that helps power what you do and the impact you’re making, it really shows different applications of supply chain management. And that’s where those are the common threads that I really love as part of the series. And Enrique weigh in on that.

Enrique Alvarez (39:16):

Well, I’m the, um, type of, um, you need an a, Lauren mentioned it, right? I mean, I think, uh, I totally agree with what she said about like not being afraid of, uh, making mistakes. I think that’s key and something that she really touched on. The other thing is just having different

Scott Luton (39:34):

people,

Enrique Alvarez (39:34):

right? And that’s part of your team. I mean, you always have like the same kind of vision and the same kind of

Enrique Alvarez (39:39):

a mentality and you need diversity. You need people that are looking at this challenges from different angles, with different backgrounds, with different nationalities even. Uh, and I think that’s what, uh, driving their success. And I’m sure that if they did something that most companies would take, I mean, changing, promote, I mean to be to B to C in five days, I mean, most companies would probably take four, five, six months. Uh, I think the, that’s a really, really good, Mmm. Good proof of what they have built and I’m sure they’ll continue to be successful as this, as this going to place out hopefully soon.

Scott Luton (40:21):

All right. Um, well Lauren, love what you do clearly. Um, you with hungry reaching out to you so quickly. I think you said within 24 hours, clearly hungry has an appetite for top talent. There’s, sorry, I had to, um, I imagine you all are adding a bunch of talent to help fuel your growth. Is that accurate?

Lauren Noce (40:43):

Yeah, I mean, the plan before kind of all of this started was to launch six more cities so far this year. Uh, we’ve done two so far, so we, you know, started in Austin to Dallas. Mmm. And the plan, you know what to do, four more cities and then 12 next chair. Okay. I think, you know, 20 thereafter that really kind of

Lauren Noce (41:06):

blowing hungry up and putting it in every market. And you know, that’s what we hear a lot from our clients too. It’s like we have an office in Chicago. Are you guys in Chicago yet? Like, Nope. Not yet. But we’re coming. We’re coming. Okay. It’s really, you know, we’re just trying to add people and the company has always been very, really wonderful. The watch we find who we think is right for the team, even if we don’t necessarily need that position filled at that time, we bring them in because we know that we’re better with them than once without them. We don’t want them getting snatched up by our competition.

Scott Luton (41:47):

Love that. Okay. So how can our listeners connect, not only connect with you but also learn more about hungry?

Lauren Noce (41:55):

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, if you go to home, try hungry, T R Y H U N G R y.com. Um, you can try out hungry and home. So, you know, there is, I think it’s like four 99 delivery fee. We are in, uh, starting with meal, the families of four $50, which are delicious chef-driven meals. Um, I know Enrique has gotten a couple of them. I get them every week to my house. Mmm. I’m obsessed. Then, you know, it really is just like our chefs means so much to us and really you can pay it that and all of their foods. So everyone listening to sign up, give it a try. Um, another cool thing that I hope I can just sneak in here too, um, is we have partnered with a five Oh one C three charitable organization called pivotal moments. And they are an amazing organization that really champions [inaudible]. But what they have done is they wanted to be able to provide, uh, you know, their donors and anyone looking, um,

Lauren Noce (43:09):

[inaudible] easy way to feed frontline or first responders, you know, doctors, nurses, the people on the front lines of this, you know, handout max crisis. Yeah. Happening all over. So, um, if anyone wants to make a donation, you can find a link on our website on home dot [inaudible] dot com two pivotal moments. You can pick this up city, um, that you want to support. You know, any of the cities that we are located in, you can get, you know, it’s a tax write off the charitable organization. And then 100% of that money goes to feeding doctors, nurses, first responders and families. The, so, uh, you know, our Atlanta team, just a hungry Atlanta office, we ourselves raised over, um, right. You $2,300. Um, and so we are, we’ve already started sending meals. You sent I think 75 bucks, lunches to um, the North what Georgia women center. I believe yesterday we’ve been sending meals too, Emory to Northside hospital. Um, it’s been, it’s been really amazing.

Scott Luton (44:22):

Hmm. Outstanding. Love that. So to our listeners, home dot [inaudible] dot com is one Avenue to actually yup. Take Lauren up on a free trial on a, on a trial. And then in general, I think the general URL is try hungry.com and clearly I love the, you know, the give back in general is important, but the local give back of what you are doing here in the Metro Atlanta area is really, really cool. So I really appreciate you taking some time as busy as, as y’all are, uh, to come out and share the hungry story with us. Yeah. Thank you so much for having you bet. And we will have to have you back on as we break through this current environment. And, and get into that new normal that you referenced, Lauren, and, and uh, and hopefully go from there to keep building the organization.

Scott Luton (45:13):

Lauren knows, senior director, corporate sales with Hungary. Thanks so much. Yeah. Thank you so much. All right, so we’re going to wrap up here with Enrique Alvarez with vector global logistics. Enrique, I love getting updates. Just like Lauren shared with us. The different initiatives are part of the different ways they’re finding. Okay. Okay. To not only grow the organization and keep the organization stable throughout these, these unique times, but also keep giving back and, and delivering on that purpose field mission. So. Mmm. Tell us, give us an update or two about some of the things that Becker’s up to

Enrique Alvarez (45:47):

yeah, no. And um, what are the updates are, um, we, we partner with love beyond walls to help the homeless and try to provide them with masks. Another be, uh, the equipment but it starting with mask. And so, uh, in terms of the updates, uh, tomorrow it’s scheduled that are, that are first order of mass will arrive here at King ball. And one of the things and exciting things that we’re talking about also with Lauren and her team is to see if we can somehow uh, work together to, to use some of the deliveries of their having to, uh, frontline workers and hospitals and nurses and doctors so we can deliver their delicious, uh, try hungry food but then also maybe bring a couple of mosques along the way. So that’s something that I’m really excited about. It’s uh, something that we’ve been trying to do for, for a couple of weeks now. And so this week we’ll start more efficiently launching those two programs.

Scott Luton (46:43):

Love that. Okay. And how can folks connect with you and the vector team?

Enrique Alvarez (46:48):

Yeah, no, if they want to reach out to me directly you can easily send me an email and not Alvarez and vector gl.com and otherwise you guys can also visit us on our, what they should vector gl.com.

Scott Luton (47:02):

Outstanding. Great conversation here today with Lauren knows with hungry and Enrique Alvarez with vector global logistics. Enrique, thanks so much.

Enrique Alvarez (47:13):

No, thank you guys. Thank you Lauren.

Scott Luton (47:15):

So to our listeners, be sure to check out wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain now, radio.com Fondas and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Want to echo Enrique cinnamon. I really appreciate it. Big things too. Lauren knows with Hungary joining us, big thanks to Enrique Alvarez and the vector team for continuing to power the logistics with purpose series here on supply chain. Now, on behalf of our entire team, Scott Luton, wishing you a successful week ahead, stay safe. No this brighter days. Certainly lie ahead and we will see you next time here on Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Enrique welcome Lauren Noce to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Lauren Noce is an Atlanta-based sales and marketing professional with 10+ of extensive experience in the trade, specializing in the design and implementation of strategic sales and trade marketing structures and operational efficiency. Midwest born and raised, Lauren comes to Atlanta by way of Chicago, where she began her career as an On-Premise Sales Rep for a beer distributor, moving up within the company and eventually holding titles of Key Accounts Manager and Brand Manager before moving on from distribution to the supplier-side of F&B covering the Southeast for a beer importer, and then taking a position as the first National Sales Director for a mid-sized brewery. She joined HUNGRY Marketplace, Inc. in May 2019 to lead the launch of the company’s third city, Atlanta, where she holds the title of Senior Director of Corporate Sales.

Enrique Alvarez serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as: Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials and Private banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has a MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean and also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here: http://vectorgl.com/

Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here: https://supplychainnow.com/

 

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