Foodee Fuels Top Aviation Talent at LTA’s NASA Hangar
A Foodee case study with Silicon Valley’s Lighter Than Air (LTA) Research and Exploration
Foodee has the pleasure of fueling (and feeding) LTA’s team of designers, engineers, and manufacturers on the ground in NASA’s hangar and at their nearby office.
About Lighter Than Air (LTA) Research and Exploration
Google co-founder and billionaire Sergey Brin launched LTA Research and Exploration in 2017. LTA stands for Lighter Than Air, an apt name for the airships that the organization designs, engineers, and builds hidden away inside of NASA’s Ames Research Center—or Moffet Hangar—in Mountain View, California.
The “future of 21st-century airships,” LTA’s blimp-like ‘air yachts’ are experimental and certified manned and remotely piloted airships. LTA plans to use its airships to deliver humanitarian aid, goods, and disaster relief, especially to remote areas not accessible by jet planes or boats because of destroyed infrastructure. They are also meant as zero-emissions alternatives to airplanes, which is increasingly essential in our changing climate.
It’s not surprising that LTA’s engineering, design, and manufacturing teams are among some of the most brilliant, talented, and creative individuals. In their quest to change aviation forever, they’re designing, prototyping, and building the next generation of airships. One example includes their aim to build the world’s biggest hydrogen fuel cell. Needless to say, daily life inside of the Mountain View hangar and at LTA’s second office in Sunnyvale, California seems engaging, challenging, inspiring, and fun—as it should be for some of the world’s top aviation talent!
The Challenge: Fueling the Future of Aviation With More Than Buffets
Foodee spoke with John Thung the Office Operations Manager at LTA Research in Mountain View, California. He has a passion for bleeding-edge technologies, which, of course, he’s aptly found at LTA. According to him, LTA used to use a private San Jose-based catering company that no longer exists.
Before the pandemic, that catering company served buffet- style dishes but John found that the food trays would get cold very quickly (and team members were often too immersed in their work to rush for lunch as soon as it arrived). He found that the catering often arrived late and the food choices were minimal (and uninspired, as buffets can be). This was hardly the kind of daily fuel that a top team like LTA’s wanted to eat between designing the potential future of aviation!
John wanted individualized meals that met COVID-19 standards and protocols. He wanted a greater variety of food options that had delicious and inspired options for vegetarians, pescatarians, and folks with allergies. He wanted the catering to arrive and be set up on time while having readily available customer service teams who could help with delivery and food quality inquiries.
That’s when LTA’s Moffet Hangar headquarters in Mountain View and its North Pastoria office in Sunnyvale, California turned to Foodee corporate catering.
"Individuals can easily see the restaurant choices, entree details, dietary restrictions, and confirmation of their order - which is all very helpful," John explains. "The team loves Taquerias & Taco Trucks!"
John Thung - Office Operations Manager at LTA
The Solution: Foodee Feeds and Exceeds LTA’s Teams’ Expectations
Foodee is proud to feed 230 LTA employees five days a week between its two office locations. John’s Moffet Hangar headquarters in Mountain View, California has 160 employees eating with Foodee five days a week, Monday through Friday, plus extra daily meals (just in case anyone forgot to order!). Likewise, LTA’s North Pastoria office location in Sunnyvale, California has 70 employees ordering with Foodee for an 11:00 am on- the-dot delivery five days a week.
Since working with Foodee, John’s found that the customer service, the wide variety of top local restaurant selections, and the customer administration portal for easy online ordering all exceed his expectations. His job is easier now that LTA’s individual team members can order exactly what they want, when they want it, and add in their own dietary notes as needed.
LTA Spends Less Time Managing Office Catering With Budget Efficiency
When it comes to the brass tax of managing office catering for so many LTA employees, John finds a significant reduction in the time he has to spend planning and managing daily office meals. He also explains that his operational needs are easily met with Foodee’s flexibility for last-minute add- ons and scheduling changes from his team.
LTA’s office catering budget is used much more efficiently now too. They have seen other vendors and restaurants take advantage of the customer, but he finds that isn’t an issue with Foodee as they get to pre-determine and set the budget
for meals and menu items ahead of time and manage daily meal budgets accordingly.
LTA’s 95% Employee Satisfaction With Foodee
Part of the many benefits of working at LTA Research and Exploration is that breakfast, lunch, dinner, and premium snacks are provided. The teams at NASA’s Mountain View hangar headquarters and at the North Pastoria office love the local restaurant meals that Foodee delivers. In fact, 95% of their employees rated their meals with high satisfaction. John explains that Foodee helps meet the quality requirements that he’s always been looking for in offering company provided food at a top workplace like LTA Research and Exploration. “You guys do a FANTASTIC job with that!”
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