EZ Cater

Chapter 5: Organizational Culture and Leadership

Video: Beyond Helpful: Why do you love working at ezCater?

ezCater’s culture was an extension of Stefania Mallett’s leadership style.
She believed in treating people well and prided herself on really knowing her employees.

When people joined the company, they attended a session called “Stefania Sings the Company Song.” It wasn’t really a concert (!) but rather time for Mallett to talk about the “culture recipe” based on nine values but particularly the importance of being insanely helpful, both within the organization and externally with partners and customers. Mallett aimed high and she noted that “we have a line we use, which is: ‘no matter what we do, we will never turn this into a hell hole that delivers schlock.’” Moving fast, trying things, and tracking results to make better decisions through data and transparency were key values. She was adamant that when the inevitable mistakes happen, “we own them, we fix them, we move on, and we put a system in place to fix it, to make it never happen again.”  

Employees appreciated the culture of the organization and the open leadership style. 

Exhibit 3: Culture Recipe

Employees appreciated the culture of the organization and the open leadership style.
As Mallett hoped, treating employees well could create a sense of ownership in the work.

From a leadership perspective, Mallett was intentional about delegating tasks as the company’s needs and the organization’s size expanded. Though she knew she might be uncomfortable, she believed it was important to let things go. Mallett had joked that “the word founder is the same word as what happens to ships when they hit a rock,” but she nonetheless believed in moving fast and learning as you go, all while keeping a keen eye on treating people well.