Employee Spotlight: Marc Pacaldo

Talking to customers is a value that drives the core of our business. Our Client Success team doesn’t just talk to customers—they build relationships with them. This month’s company value award winner, Marc Pacaldo, does just that. He takes customer conversations personally, and works diligently to ensure his clients feel the attention and consideration they deserve.

Name: Marc Pacaldo

Hometown: San Mateo, CA

Job Title: Client Success Coordinator

What I do every day: I make my clients happy with great tasting food from our hard working vendors!

Favorite food: Filet mignon and lobster!

Favorite cocktail: Tequila. Straight up.

My favorite thing about lunch: Eating… lunch.

Favorite restaurant: Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay

My most memorable dining experience of all time is: I would have to say… hot dogs in the Adidas Suite behind home plate at old Yankee Stadium (RIP).

My dream celebrity dinner date: I would enjoy nothing more than going out for burgers & fries (and a milkshake) with the latest head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Mr. Jack Del Rio.

Thank you so much Marc for all you do, and for making sure our clients have an excellent experience with ZeroCater.

What we’re reading at ZeroCater: A Book Club for Every Department

At ZeroCater, we’re passionate about investing in our employees. Team lunches are our way showing appreciation to our team. Although we’re foodies to the core, we’ve found some other ways to invest in our employees beyond our crepe bars and taco Tuesdays.

Participating in the professional development of each employees is something we pride ourselves on. We provide an annual stipend for each employee to spend on career development, and bring our team together over team-building activities like wine tastings and cooking classes (clearly we always have food on the brain). One program we’ve started experimenting with is a quarterly book club—a voluntary program taken on by different departments. In case you’re looking start a book club at your own company, we thought we’d share what we’ve been reading.

For Sales:

Predictable Revenue:

Referred to as the “sales bible for CEOs,” Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross is not your typical cold calling sales manual. The premise lies in strategically placing specialists along the entire sales cycle, turning your team into a sales machine. If you want to learn more about business expansion and scalability, you have to read this book.

For Customer Service:

How to Win Friends & Influence People

First published in 1936, Dale Carnegie goes into the psychology of influence, arguments, and critique in this book. The saying, “The customer is always right,” reaches a new level, as influencers learn to avoid arguments, criticisms, and complaints—and how to always see the other person’s point of view.

For Human Resources:

Delivering Happiness

Written by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness explains how Hsieh built a company on employee happiness and culture. He explains some of his unorthodox policies (including the famous $2,000 incentive for employees to quit), and shows how to create a business your people will love working for.

For Upper Management:

The Score Takes Care of Itself

The Score Takes Care of Itself is a compilation of NFL coach Bill Walsh’s theories on leadership. Walsh believed as a coach, he set an example for the attitude and dedication for every player on his team. He always put work ethic first, and explains building a successful team starts with building an exceptional culture.

For Marketing:

Setting the Table

NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer mixes practical advice with a personal memoir in this book on how to create a successful business. Meyer was extremely talented in loyalty marketing, going as far as to take notes on his guests. Through a combination of analytics and storytelling, Meyer shows you how to create a strong following.

What is your team reading this month? Do you have any books we should add to our reading list? Tell us in the comments!

The Five Most Important Questions You’re Not Asking Your Caterer

It’s time to order food for the next sales meeting or team happy hour, and you start flipping through take-out menus. While you browse sandwich platters and veggie trays, you may not realize all the details you’re leaving out. There is more that goes into a team meal than the food itself, and forgetting one of these items can cause extra stress on event day.

When planning your next catered office meal, here are a handful of items to consider. Be sure to ask these five questions when selecting a catering partner—or better yet, let ZeroCater handle these details for you.

  1. Dietary Restrictions:

Gluten, peanut, shellfish, egg, dairy, and soy—do any of your team members have food allergies? Planning a meal around dietary restrictions can be a tedious process. Dishes must be appropriately labeled, noting any of the eight common allergens. Make sure your caterer can accommodate special requests—you don’t want to be the one telling a coworker they won’t be eating that day.

  1. Budget:

It is extremely important to agree on a budget before planning your next office meal. What is your headcount? How much are you willing to spend per person? When discussing budget, make sure there are no hidden fees. Tax, tip, set-up, and delivery need to be factored in to your overall price point.

  1. Delivery Logistics:

Does your caterer know how to get into the building? Are there loading docks and freight elevators you need to tell the driver about? Will they need identification to get access to the building? Even the most experienced caterers are often late due to miscommunication about delivery logistics. Food deliveries and set-up often require certificates of insurance, so be sure your caterer is properly equipped.

  1. Setup & Presentation:

Once the food arrives, what happens? Many food delivery services may simply drop the food off at the front desk. Do you, or one of your coworkers, have time to set the food up yourself? If so, are you properly trained to handle food? Ask your caterer if they include food set-up with service, and what their presentation standards are.

  1. Post-Meal Feedback:

In order to collect feedback on office catered meals, will you be creating a survey and sending it out? Will the caterer take your feedback into account in case you order from them again? If your employees liked certain aspects of the meal, but not others, be sure to take their feedback into account.

There are many pitfalls that come into play with corporate catering. Make sure you consider each of these when planning your next event.

ZeroCater is a corporate catering service that handles each of these roadblocks. We take dietary restrictions into consideration and label each dish appropriately. We work with you to find a menu to match your budget, with tax, tip, and delivery included. We handle each stage of the ordering process, from preparation to arrival. Feedback is collected after each meal, so your team stays happy and satisfied.

Does hassle free office catering sound good to you? Contact ZeroCater today!

Five Food Trucks Worth Chasing Down in NYC

It’s not easy navigating the streets of New York, or the parade of food trucks parked alongside them. With the influx of food trucks lining the streets, it’s difficult to know which ones are worth scoping out, which are overpriced, or which are just the same dish on a different truck. To help decipher the mobile food mecca, here are our favorite picks:

Korilla BBQ:

This truck has been rolling through NYC since 2010, and debuted their brick and mortar in 2014. Following the assembly line model, guests choose from a burrito or rice bowl, then top with Korean-inspired toppings: Spicy Korean BBQ Pork, kimchi, bulgogi (marinated rib-eye), and an entire spectrum of sweet, spicy, and tangy sauces.

Nuchas Empanadas

If you think empanadas are all ground beef and shredded chicken, you are oh-so-sorely mistaken. Nuchas throws an unorthodox twist on the Spanish pastry, offering flavors including short rib, jambalaya, shiitake curry, and even a dessert option (apple, cranberry, and Nutella, oh my).

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Red Hook Lobster Pound started in D.C., and launched a second food truck in NYC. With lobster meat piled high on a buttery bun grilled to perfection, the truck has gained a lot of attention for its authentic Maine catch. Other menu options include their shrimp rolls and lobster BLT—because who wouldn’t want lobster and bacon?

Morris Grilled Cheese

From the sauce, to the toppings, to the herb butter; Morris knows how to take a grilled cheese to the next level. With flavors like Habanero Chicken (complete with blue cheese and chicken chorizo) and Delicate Cheese (with truffle butter, truffle cheese, and caramelized shallots) you’ll never look at a GC the same again. Wash it down with one of their house-made drinks, including homemade root beer and yuzu ginger beer. 


By the sound of their name, you’d think Snowday served ice-cream, snow-cones, or other frozen treats. Well, think again—this truck is serving maple syrup inspired dishes, including maple syrup grilled cheese, onion rings, and other favorites. Snowday is also NYC’s first farm-to-truck food truck, and supports Drive Change, a nonprofit which hires and trains formerly incarcerated youth.

What are your favorite food trucks in NYC? What dish would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Wine Over Water Coolers: How Happy Hour Enriches Your Company Culture

By: Emily Hogan

A happy hour with no lines, no reserved tables, no seven dollar wells, and no bumping into that weird guy hogging the bar stool. Sign me up!

If you’ve ever spent the afternoon in a D.C. office, you know it is 5PM when everyone starts checking their phones and brainstorming happy hour locations. Walking to the metro stop is like a game of Frogger—dodging sidewalk signs advertising happy hour specials, and groups crowding around high top tables. Why not capitalize on the omnipresent happy hour culture and encourage your coworkers to kick back at work and get to know each other? I guarantee there will be no crowds and—hopefully—no weird guys on bar stools. Still need convincing? Studies show making friends at work leads to more employee collaboration and higher productivity. In fact, Forbes recently published an article showing the connection between fun workplaces and happy, more productive employees.

Before joining ZeroCater six months ago, I worked as an event planner. Happy hours were my bread and butter. In my experience, alcohol can have more than one kind of effect on people. While I do have some crazy stories (i.e. the time a senior executive was found asleep under his desk after too many sake bombs) I also have great stories about coworkers hatching a plan to carpool, employees discovering they have the same alma mater, and business leaders having an “ah ha!” moment after learning more about their employees. Take it from a former event planner; happy hours are a great way to break the ice. Here are three tips to getting your employees out of their cubes and into the five o’clock spirit:

  1. Choose your day wisely.

Is your office mainly composed of recent college grads, or parents who have to help their kids with homework once they wrap things up at the office? Knowing which day of the week works for your groups is key in throwing a successful and well-attended happy hour. It also doesn’t hurt to check the events calendar for your city so you can avoid double-booking the same night as the big game.

  1. Themes are your friend.

No, no, no, I am not talking about making your coworkers dress up in grass skirts and sip tiki drinks. Start with something simple: local beer night, or a tailgate happy hour to kick off football season. The possibilities are endless and can help create excitement around the office. Different themes work for different people, so keep it creative and don’t be afraid to mix it up. Still need ideas? Don’t be afraid to poll the audience for suggestions!

  1. Get everyone involved.

What’s the point of getting everyone together if employees only talk to their teammates? Focus on fostering cross-departmental conversations: Rotate bartending duties across different departments, play a game of office trivia, or host a raffle and give away a mystery gift.

Happy hour should be about celebrating the work you accomplished together, rather than celebrating that the day is over.


Emily Hogan, ZeroCater Emily Hogan is the Client Success Manager in ZeroCater’s Washington, D.C. office.

How to celebrate Thanksgiving at the office

Now that Halloween is behind us, the holidays are quickly approaching! Make sure your office is ready to celebrate with the help of ZeroCater.

Whether you are looking for a traditional Thanksgiving feast with an entire turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce; or an elaborate spread of hors d’oeuvres with artisanal beer and wine, ZeroCater has you covered!

Thanksgiving with ZeroCater

There’s more than one way to bring the holiday season to the office. Thanksgiving is the feast to end all feasts—but your coworkers can also celebrate turkey day by putting a holiday twist on happy hours, dessert buffets, or company brunch. Or, if you’re worried turkey and dressing will give your office a bad case of the three o’clock slump, have an Un-Thanksgiving celebration with sushi, gyros, a waffle bar, or something equally unorthodox. Here are a few ideas to plan your office party:

Put a holiday spin on your favorite comfort foods:

Dozens of our vendors have curated their own unique spins on conventional holiday meals. Brother Baby’s BBQ in San Francisco has created a Southern inspired BBQ Thanksgiving feast including smoked turkey, sweet cornbread stuffing, and even beef brisket slowly barbecued for 14 hours.

Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing

Bring 5:00 early, and throw a Thanksgiving cocktail hour

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a sit-down-style meal. If happy hour is more your thing, throw a holiday-style cocktail hour focused on drinks and appetizers. Chef Jess in our Washington, D.C. offers mini sweet potato pies which would be perfect! Sweet potato pie for happy hour

Forget what your parents told you. Go straight for dessert.

If your coworkers enjoy dessert, offer a full Thanksgiving spread of just the pie! Whether it’s pecan, pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato—have your Thanksgiving buffet revolve around the sweetest part of the meal. Mini Melanie in NYC is offering pumpkin layer cake, carrot cake, and vegan cinnamon bundt cake for the occasion.

Thanksgiving apple crisp

Be a rebel, go unorthodox:

Most would be excited to have two belt-loosening turkey meals in one week, but some companies are opting to change it up and celebrate with something entirely different. From made to order crepes, burgers and ramen bowls, bring a new tradition of holiday meals to your office.

Interested in ordering a holiday meal for your office? Let ZeroCater help plan your next meal today!

*Dishes pictured are courtesy of Chef Jess in Washinton, D.C.

Become a ZeroCater Crane: We’re hiring Part Time employees!

Calling all those looking for a part-time job in the food and beverage industry—ZeroCater has immediate openings for Cranes!

To fully understand the role of a Crane at ZeroCater, you need to first understand the history behind our name and logo. When you look at our logo, you see an origami paper crane, popular in Japan. Have you ever tried to create origami? It’s a VERY hard exercise, and often ends in frustration, and a less than perfect final product. Office catering, when done incorrectly can follow the same course.

The origami crane is a constant reminder that ZeroCater alleviates the most frustrating process of planning and executing office catering. We provide zero-hassle corporate catering that looks and tastes great.

A part time Crane will assist with catered meal delivery and setup in the following locations: San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

As Crane your responsibilities consist of:

  • Overseeing meal delivery (vendors bring the food, you make sure they brought the right stuff)
  • Assisting with the setup and meal presentation (making things look perfect)
  • Communicating with ZeroCater (checking the food and letting ZC know of any issues)

The details:

  • Shifts are 2-3 hours per day, typically from 11am to 1pm (perfect for fitting around other jobs, school, parenting, etc.)
  • Weekly schedules are flexible depending on availability
  • No car needed
  • Come join our team as a W-2 employee (NOT a contractor or 1099)

Interested? Visit our jobs page to learn more, & apply today!

PS – We’re also hiring for many positions nationwide in fields like: Engineering, Marketing, Operations, and Sales.

How to throw a D.C. progressive dinner party (on the Metro)

Elevators are out. The green line is single tracking. There’s only bus service between Van Ness and Friendship Heights. The D.C. Metro has it’s flaws—we still haven’t forgotten when they closed one entrance to Dupont in 2012—but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it.

Food makes everything better­­—even a commute on the Metro. If you and your coworkers are looking to wind down after the workday, we’ve mapped out (literally) the perfect plan for you.

Make your commute home (much) more enjoyable by throwing a progressive dinner party on the Metro. You’ll get to explore neighborhoods you might not otherwise venture to, and those painful rush hour delays will be over by the time you’re ready to head home.

Here’s how it works: You pick the line; we pick the stops. At each stop you enjoy one course (i.e. appetizers), move to the next stop for tapas, and ride on to dessert. Simple, right? Below you will find a list of restaurants and our favorite dishes to try, so all you have to do is get your co-workers on board. There’s one route for every color, so you’ll be given a few places to try no matter where your office is located.

Alright, pick your color, and try these dishes at your Metro progressive dinner party:


  • Start: Chinatown
  • End: Dupont


  • Start: Mt. Vernon
  • End: U Street


  • Start: Federal Center SW
  • End: Eastern Market

Restaurants at DC Metro stops


Employee Engagement Panel and Workplace Wellness Seminar at The Office Elite Meetup!

Are you an “Office Elite”? We’re hosting a Meetup for you! This Meetup is a new resource geared specifically for office support and human resource professionals. We hosted our first Meetup last month and it was a huge hit. Based on the feedback received, we’ve chosen a selection of industry professionals to partake in a discussion panel during this month’s event.

With the holiday season right around the corner, we are focusing on employee engagement and company culture. Halloween parties, Thanksgiving potlucks, white elephant office Christmas parties—these events are much more successful (and fun) when your employees partake in the festivities.

It’s time to get your team excited about where they work. Use the holidays as a time to welcome new employees and create new company traditions.

After the dust settles and the holiday parties are over, the New Years Resolution rush begins. To keep your office happy and healthy, we’re giving you a segment on wellness in the workplace as well. Without further adieu, here is what’s on the agenda for this Thursday:

Thursday, October 29: The Office Elite Meetup agenda

5.30-6pm: Networking, drinks by Drizly, & food catered by Brix Catering

6pm-6.30pm: MindFuel Wellness brings co-founders Jacquelyn Brennan and Kelly Moore to give you the skinny on how to keep your office healthy and happy. You’ll get a first-hand experience of the work MindFuel Wellness brings to their clients along with a discussion on current health market trends. Jacquelyn and Kelly will share innovative health and wellness programs that drive employee engagement and enjoyment.

Mindfuel wellness Chicago

6.30-7pm: We’re putting together some big names from the Chicago area to host a panel discussion and provide their best tips for running a happy office. Office Elite’s Kaity at SpotHero, Katy at Sprout Social, and Kevin at Pivotal Labs will be joining us to discuss office engagement, host a Q&A, and more!

7pm: Giveaways, prizes, and networking. Main prize: A Drizly Party basket!

Drizly Party Package

Check out the Office Elite Meetup for full details, view the Meetup agenda, RSVP to the event, and begin networking. We hope to see you there!


Five Fun Ways to Celebrate Pumpkin Season at the Office (PSL, optional)

Come fall, we’re all seeing orange—and not just in the form of espresso and foam in our Starbucks cup. This year, think beyond the pumpkin spice latte and explore what other ways you can enjoy the flavors of fall at the office.

Like the foodies we are, we all get a bit [too] excited when pumpkin season hits. Your office deserves a Pumpkin Palooza (don’t we all?). So if you’re still hurting for ideas on what to serve, you know who to call to help plan it (hint hint).

  1. Everything Nice and Pumpkin Pie Spice challenge

Host a pumpkin recipe taste-off at work with all your colleagues. Challenge your officemates to see who can make the best pumpkin inspired recipe—whether it be pumpkin brownies, bread, pie, caramel sauce, or parfaits—and crown the winner for best taste and most original.

pumpkin scones

  1. Five o’clock = Pumpkin Hour

Who says pumpkin beverages only come in the form of lattes and creamer? Shift your daily pumpkin intake to the end of the day, and throw a fall-themed happy hour at the office. Have Drizzly deliver a variety of pumpkin ales to the office, and ask your ZeroCater representative for pumpkin spiced cupcakes and other treats.

Pumpkin cupcakes

  1. What’s your next pie in the sky idea?

What’s a brainstorming session without a little brain food? Offer a spread of pumpkin pies at your next meeting or luncheon, instead of the typical cookie platter you usually go for.

Slice of pumpkin pie

  1. Do up the Pumpkin décor

Make your office a little more fall-fest friendly by hosting a pumpkin carving party. Or, plan a wine-and-painting happy hour where coworkers paint the your company logo on mini pumpkins for the office.

  1. An Ode to the PSL

If all you want is your beloved PSL, then don’t let anything come between you. But don’t just serve the coffee—come on show a little respect—honor the froth and foam and serve with pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, and your other favorite breakfast treats.

PUmpkin coffee hour

What other ways is your office gearing up for fall? Pumpkin season is just one of the many things to celebrate in the coming months. We’ll keep you posted on tailgate ideas and Thanksgiving menus in the weeks to come!

The pumpkin breakfast treats featured in this post are menu items from Bakehouse in Washington, D.C., a proud ZeroCater vendor.