Social Enterprise Experience Design

A comprehensive service design project, from research through to implementation planning.

FoodShare, a Toronto non-profit that focuses on food security, education, and access, engaged us to redesign a social enterprise catering service.

I led the research phase of this project. We engaged in ethnographic immersions and interviews with customers, food services experts, and FoodShare stakeholders, helping us develop an understanding of the delicate balance struck between catering to professional clients with high expectations and honouring the place that FoodShare occupies in Toronto’s non-profit network.

From here, we synthesized our research into two key translation tools: a service experience map and a set of design principles. The experience map helped us conduct conversations about areas of opportunity and need with FoodShare stakeholders, and proved to be surprisingly resonant across the organizational hierarchy. The design principles gave us rallying points for what we were going to do about each pain point.

A service experience map aggregates data from multiple sources to tell a clear story about where a service succeeds and where it falls down.

To get to implementation, we designed and led a full-day co-design session with the FoodShare team; while ostensibly focused on design artifacts and service refinement, this actually allowed us to convene complex conversations between the FoodShare leadership and the kitchen team about autonomy and identity. We took the outputs of these conversations and refined them iteratively, ultimately delivering interventions in nine different areas of the service experience (from a digital presence to new serving ware to new order management systems).

The end result was that sales doubled year-over-year six months after the relaunch, with the kitchen team reporting an increased sense of agency, purpose, and excitement.

Lessons Learned