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How Canva feeds creativity and culture in their Sydney headquarters.

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We look at Work Hub all the time. The data we’re getting right now is helping us find what the baseline of spending is. It’s interesting to see what we’re spending versus the numbers of people coming in.
Dan Bloom Beverage and Front of House Operations, Canva

Chef-prepared lunches, office baristas and a fully-stocked snack cupboard – is great food the secret to this Aussie start-up’s success?

Meet Canva, an Aussie start-up success story

Canva is an online design and visual communication platform that allows anyone to easily create beautiful graphics, videos and other assets – no design experience required. The platform is so user-friendly even the technologically-challenged members of your executive leadership team could whip up a stunning design. 

The platform democratised the design space and revolutionised the way businesses and individuals create online. Thanks to its simple interface and ease of use, the adoption rate went through the roof, and there are now more than 135 million people using Canva every month. 

The Aussie start-up recently earned a $40 billion valuation (yes, that’s billion, not million). But there’s another reason behind this company’s major success. They really look after their staff. They know that happy teams are productive teams. And nothing makes people happier than good food.

Fuelling the staff of a growing start-up is no easy feat

Dan Bloom, who looks after Beverage and Front of House Operations at Canva, knows that creativity is thirsty work. With 500-600 employees working from their Sydney offices on any given day, Dan has made it his mission to ensure staff have plenty of brain food to keep them going. 

For a while, Dan’s team were juggling various relationships with different suppliers and often had dozens of invoices flying around every month. It was difficult to get a clear picture of monthly spending and created a lot of additional paperwork and admin for his already busy team.

But when they switched to Woolworths at Work, dozens of invoices became one. And with Work Hub’s reporting tools, Dan and his team could see exactly how much the business was spending on groceries, making budgeting and forecasting a whole lot easier.

The team has also benefited from using the single line of credit. Previously, Dan’s credit card was shared among the team for ad hoc purchasing. Now, he can invite all staff located at their various offices around Sydney to sign up to Woolworths at Work and easily place orders when required. It also means Canva’s Melbourne office can order through the same account using their own delivery addresses and personal ordering accounts. 

“We’ve got certain people that are ordering for specific buildings and all using the line of credit, so you can see the reporting at an individual building level.”

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Connecting around the Communal Table

Providing healthy snacks and meals isn’t simply about maximising productivity. There are proven benefits of bringing staff together through food to increase employee engagement. Understanding the importance of connection in the workplace, Dan revamped Canva’s food and beverage offering.

“Breaking bread with someone is such an organic and beautiful way to put the tools down and come together. Even when Canva was only made up of six or eight employees, Cliff (that’s Cliff Obrecht, Canva’s Chief Operating Officer) used to make sausage sandwiches every day.”

As the team grew, so did their menu. And now, the daily communal meals have become a cornerstone of Canva’s culture. Dan also says their cooked lunches are a powerful motivator for getting people in the office. 

“It’s going to sound a little crazy, but how busy the office is can be dictated by what’s on the menu. If it was a Monday and we put fried chicken burgers on the menu, we’d have 900 people in the office. No doubt.”

Supporting Canva’s carbon neutral initiatives

Canva’s Australian operations have been carbon neutral since 2020. They’ve now entered the Beyond Net Zero phase, where the organisation will begin to focus on regeneration, scaling their positive impact and healing the planet. 

For that reason, Dan loves Woolworths at Work’s Green delivery windows that cut down unnecessary carbon emissions. “It’s important for us to work with partners who care about the planet as much as we do.”

Looking to ramp up employee experience with a food and beverage offering in your workplace? Find out how Woolworths at Work can help. Get in touch or sign up today.