Meet the startup trying to bring back the break room

Meet the startup trying to bring back the break room

In a pandemic-driven, work-from-home era, many things changed for office employees as they moved from the cubicle to the kitchen table.

One of the biggest changes was the loss of the employee break room where staff could socialize, eat snacks and take a breather from work.

In the midst of a hybrid working environment, a new startup is bringing the break room back, albeit in a different way. Enter, Remote Breakroom.

Founded by Andrew Didier, Remote Breakroom is a snack subscription box, similar to Imperfect Produce or Hello Fresh, focused on bringing the break room back to remote and hybrid employees.

“We noticed a glaring need and wanted to rekindle the power of the break room,” said Didier. “Remote Breakroom is empowering employers to take back those so-called water cooler moments, provide their teams with food, and offer great benefits to their staff, whether they are remote or in-office.”

When a company purchases a subscription to the Remote Breakroom box, they can automatically sign up employees for weekly, monthly, or quarterly snack boxes. There is also the option for a one-time order.

Employees can choose from a variety of boxes including the Snacks & Coffee box (featuring local brews), the Happy Hour Box (with non-alcoholic cocktail mixers), a Loose Leaf Tea box, among others.

Remote Breakroom is also focused on working with local businesses and offering high-quality snacks.

“We wanted to create a subscription box with healthy food that people would truly enjoy,” said Didier. “The majority of our snack offerings come from local and small manufacturers. We avoided common foods from big stores and tried to focus on providing healthy products.”

As companies embrace fully remote and hybrid work environments, Remote Breakroom wants to help keep employees connected.

“Companies are sending the boxes to remote staff as a company perk or as a way to provide food in internal meetings or happy hours,” said Marketing & Communications Manager Cynthia Heng. “They can also be sent to customers or clients as a way to show appreciation or value.”

The boxes ship both locally and internationally.

“The pandemic drastically changed work environments,” said Didier. “With Remote Breakroom, we can help people navigate a challenging time and use food in the way it's been used for decades; to bring people together — even remotely.”

This is part of a regular guest column written by the Technology Association of Oregon in the Portland Business Journal.

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