Technology at Fooda | Fooda

Our team's technology makes lunch possible

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At Fooda, we believe people should love and look forward to lunch every day. Our tightly knit Product, Data Science, and Engineering teams turn this belief into a reality by dreaming up and developing meaningful technology for lunch eaters and the local restaurants that serve them. Adjectives used to describe our team: friendly, intelligent, highly technical, and fun. Regardless of seniority, everyone takes personal ownership.


We're a proving ground for Chicago's future tech leaders. Our senior team members place heavy focus on mentorship and we all genuinely care about seeing each other succeed.

Sanjit, CTO at Fooda Sanjit, Chief Technology Officer at Fooda


Fooda Technology Platform

Dig deeper into our technology platform and our projects to see how we handle all the moving pieces that go into selling millions of meals across the country at a rate that has been growing exponentially since we started it all in 2011.

Fooda Point Of Sale

Fooda POS let's us capture key data related to our customers and events. It fuels the data science team's application of machine learning and allows us to make data driven decisions as a business. Without it, we'd be flying blind.



Background

Every intelligently run business wants individual purchase data. But linking real world purchsaes to individuals is a considerable challenge that requires Fooda's own POS.

Overcoming the challenge of designing and rolling out a POS was top of mind. Building technology that can process more than a hundred million dollars per year requires world class reliability.

Last, but not least: most of Fooda's volume happens all at once. Turns out most office workers tend to buy lunch at the same time. Successfully handling peak demand requires thoughtful infrastructure and performance decisions.

The Solution

We developed or own internal, highly scalable enterprise grade POS system. Optimized for performance and availability, it's built on a distributed architecture and supports offline transactions. Because we don't believe a bad internet connection should stop customers from buying lunch.

The POS backend tracks every order, event log and user click in real time to provide the best possible user experience.

To keep the line moving, we have a strict requirement on the amount of time to process an order. We use a distributed infrastructure to maintain low latency and high availability. We are built on top of a messaging architecture that links various systems over RabbitMQ. Because you really don't want to hold people up when they're waiting for al pastor. Trust us. You don't.










Active Feature Development

Fooda for Restaurants Web App

Fooda and our restaurant partners share a lot of information (e.g. scheduling, event details, sales and payments data). This used to be mostly handled through email. To strengthen communication - and for the sake of everyone's sanity - we are building a self-service, mobile responsive web app that provides easy access for restaurants to view their information on any device.






Corporate Subsidy Program

As a perk, many companies want to pay for part of their employees' lunches at Fooda Popup. One challenge - tracking employee purchases if the Popup is in the lobby and accessible to all tenants in the building. The team is creating a first-of-its-kind solution: a web app where corporate clients can administer their subsidy programs, a feature in Fooda's consumer app where employees can redeem subsidies, and a feature in the restaurant POS for validating subsidies when they are presented at checkout.






Popups Around Me

We want to make it easy for users to find other Fooda Popups outside of their normal workplace location. During a hack week, the team built a "Popups Around Me" prototype, which impressed the rest of the company. The prototype has since been turned into a consumer app feature. Users can now see which Popup restaurants are nearby and what they are serving for lunch. To make them easy to find, walking directions and photos of the location are provided.




Fooda Meal Planner

Everyone hates it when a Popup restaurants sells out of a popular item during service. Restaurants feel the pain of a lost opportunity and it's a major let down to the customer. Fooda's Data Science and Analytics team built the Fooda Meal Planner, which guides restaurant partners on the ideal number of lunches they should prepare each day. The goal is for restaurants to sell their last remaining menu item at the very last minute of service. No more hanger.









Fooda's Technology Leaders

Meet Sanjit, our Chief Technology Officer

Sanjit moved to the U.S. in 2004 with $500. Today, he has 12 years of software engineering experience and a masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois (he earned a Ray Ozzie scholarship). Sanjit spent five years at Zillow, where he grew the mobile and API teams from three developers to 20, and helped build 5-star rated apps. The apps were so awesome that the team won two Webby Awards. Zillow acquired StreetEasy, and Sanjit went there to help develop the engineering culture. Before Zillow, he fell in love with open source technology building IE at Microsoft, which was very closed source back then (and yes, he met Bill Gates).




Meet Jeff, our VP of Engineering

Jeff grew up working in his family’s hardware store in Iowa, which led to his initial interest in engineering. Jeff often found himself taking apart computers and rebuilding them. Jeff went on to earn degrees in Math & Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. After graduation, Jeff moved to Chicago and started his career in software development. Jeff worked his way up, from engineer, to manager, to Vice President of Engineering. He's worked with companies large and small, spanning a wide variety of specialties, from digital marketing, to FinTech, to collegiate recruiting. He is also a mentor at 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub. Jeff enjoys motivating people, helping them solve problems, and watching them learn and grow. As the VP of Engineering at Fooda, Jeff gets to marry his love of good food and customer service with his love of engineering.




Meet Patrick, our VP of Data Science and Analytics

With 14 years of experience in the field, Patrick joined Fooda in 2017. He came to us from a machine learning startup that he founded in Seattle called Lumidatum. Fooda was an early Lumidatum client and Patrick just couldn't shake us. With his team in tow, he hopped on a plane, moved to Chicago, and launched our Data Science and Analytics team. Previously, Patrick ran a worldwide team of BI Engineers and Data Scientists for Amazon with offices in 5 countries. Before Amazon, Patrick launched the analytics team for WMS Gaming (acquired by Scientific Games). He started his career in consulting for a few years at Accenture and Dunn Solutions Group. Patrick has his MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. He studied computer science as an undergrad.


Meet Krissy, our Director of Product Management

With over 9 years of experience in product management and technology product consulting and implementation Krissy has a passion for building great products and product teams. Krissy studied mechanical engineering at Notre Dame before starting her career in consulting with Accenture, working with multiple nationwide retailers and QSR companies to solve point-of-sale, stores operations, and back-of-house technology challenges.Before joining Fooda, she did a deep dive into the world of personal lending software at a fintech startup in Chicago (iLoan).







Highlights from the Blog


Consumer Tipping Point: Initial Building Blocks.S

This post comes from Eric Ward, a Business Intelligence Analyst for Fooda’s Data Science and Analytics team. He came into the newly-created role to kick off the effort of building out the enterprise reporting environment

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I Called An Ethernet Port "The Internet Hole" At My First Job - Now I'm a Product Manager

Kristine Alipio is a Product Manager at Fooda. She dove headfirst into the startup life after graduating from the University of Iowa. You can find her by listening for her laugh, or sneaking a bite

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Hack Week's Back, ALRIGHT!

Fooda is revolutionizing the way workers eat lunch at the office. So, needless to say, we like to break the mold. We think that when people are given a certain amount of freedom, they can Read More

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Expressive Tests As Documentation (Using RSpec And FactoryBot)

This post was written by Mikee Pourhadi, a Software Engineer at Fooda. Mikee has a lot of strong opinions about testing, and his instincts are right about 15% of the time. He loves food. Fooda

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Improving Dependency Injection With View Controllers

Improving Dependency Injection with View Controllers We recently rewrote Fooda’s iOS consumer application from the ground up. Our goals with the rewrite were to increase app stability, testability and team velocity. These goals, along with

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Ship And Scale - The Empowering Fooda Tech Stack

Throughout my tenure at Fooda, we have built a rich and dynamic technology team. We’re about 30 people right now and, among other interesting things about our team, we do not have a dedicated DevOps

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Blocks in Ruby (Things I Wish I Had Understood Sooner)

Ruby blocks are tricky, but they’re powerful and worth understanding. If you’re teaching yourself, you’re bound to run into a roadblock. Just talk yourself through it… Imagine yourself arriving at an uncomfortable realization: You love

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Software Engineering Intern Trey Herman Reflects On His Summer Internship With Fooda

Trey Herman was Fooda’s Software Engineering Intern during Summer 2017. In this post, Trey describes his experience as a Fooda intern. My summer working at Fooda has been an incredible experience that has challenged me

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For Our Valued Restaurant Partners: Designing Fooda For Restaurants

Fooda is on a mission to connect people with great food at work. Our network of 2,000+ restaurant partners is fundamental to that goal. In the past, we’ve designed and developed our own internal POS

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