EZ Cater

Chapter 1

Stefania Mallet, CEO, EZCATER

“We are the overnight success that took 11 years to get here. We started this business in my house. And we launched it to be what we are today: a nationwide portal for helping businesses find food for any business meeting.” [1]

Stefania Mallet

Looking out of their office windows in Boston Massachusetts in mid-2018, the co-founders of ezCater, Stefania Mallett (Co-Founder and CEO) and Briscoe Rodgers (Co-Founder and President) met to review their plans for the company’s next steps. Their resolve to take ezCater public grew stronger every day and yet to do this successfully meant many more hours of focused and intense work. The partners had been involved in several start-ups in the past, and although the work was rarely easy, it was worth the pain. Ernst & Young had recently recognized them as 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year for New England, but they were trying not to let this success go to their heads. What really mattered was how to maintain and accelerate ezCater’s progress. How could they become the $1 billion company of Briscoe’s wildest dreams and still be the company that mirrored Stefania’s soul?

Stefania Mallett, ezCater’s CEO, was in everyone’s words “the people person” and her co-founder Briscoe Rodgers was the product expert. They were an amazing team, able to finish each other’s sentences. It was a partnership they both valued highly. ezCater had already grown exponentially, but fast growth also meant new challenges for both of these leaders.

As Mallett and Rodgers took what they often referred to as a “walk around the building” when they needed to talk, one thing was clear: their growth trajectory was on target as more and more companies were ordering food online. The fast-paced, geographically distributed nature of today’s workplace demanded simple and transparent solutions for catering. ezCater was poised to be the LinkedIn of on-line catering if they found a way to grow and scale before new competitors entered the space.

As Mallett and her team prepared for the future, she reminisced about the past. As CEO, she relished the fact that she currently knew everyone’s name and job function in the company because she herself had performed every job, from acquiring customers to placing food orders from caterers, all conducted from her temporary office – her kitchen at home, while Rogers worked by her side.

[1] Chris O’Brien, “Boston’s ezCater raises $100 million to take its corporate catering platform international,” Venture Beat, June 18, 2018, 9:00 pm. Accessed 9/25/18. 

[2] According to estimates from food industry market research company Technomics, the US catering market had grown to more than $58 billion in 2017, from $38 billion in 2011. The business-to-business segment of that market was estimated at 37%, or approximately $22 billion. See Sara Rush Wirth, “Catering strategy is key to driving off-premises dollars,” Restaurant Business, February 27, 2018. Accessed 12/13/18.