When the COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone to shelter in place, Dallas tech firm Allata‘s productivity didn’t miss a beat because they were already used to working remotely and off-site with clients.
Pizza-Making Class Brings Allata Team Together Virtually
Their tight camaraderie wasn’t about to change either, so they began scheduling regular meet ups online, one of which was a creative culture-building opportunity with a virtual pizza cooking class by Life At The Table.
Allata has 110 full-time employees and about 50 contractors across its offices in four different states. CEO Matt Rosen said people missed each other.
“When people ask me how we do different things with the team during the pandemic, I always bring up the virtual pizza class. We were doing happy hours only at first, but after a while we got bored and started doing things like virtual scavenger hunts, and some and wine and whiskey tastings with clients. When I think back on all the events we did, I think the pizza cooking class was the most fun and interactive.”
Both Experienced and Novice Cooks Created a Pizza Masterpiece
Allata chose the Flatbread Pizza in a Box class from Life At The Table. The team’s cooking skills varied from fellow “chefs” like Rosen to those who have never made pizza or don’t cook much. Thanks to Chef Sandra’s facilitation skills, he said everyone had a good-looking pizza at the end of class.
Life At The Table ships ingredient kits and a list of required equipment ahead of time so participants are prepared for the hands-on, fun experience of making pizza together virtually. Every Life At The Table virtual class features a two-camera view, one always on the chef and a birds-eye view of all the cooking action.
Every pizza-making class includes a fun pizza trivia contest and once the pizza is cooked, everyone shows off their masterpiece.
“I’m pretty big on homemade pizza,” said Rosen. “I’ve made my own dough and I have a wood-fired pizza oven outside. I’m pretty hard-core when it comes to pizza. It’s probably my favorite food, so I was excited about the class.”
Pizza-Making Class from Life At The Table is Engaging, Interactive and Fun
That night Rosen didn’t use his wood-fired oven, but he did have a pizza stone, parchment paper, and his 9-year-od daughter as his sous chef. He claims to have made homemade pizza a couple of hundred times. But, Chef Sandra did introduce something new to him and the team – how to make homemade pizza sauce.
Rosen said the great thing about the pizza-making class was that everyone was engaged and had an opportunity to speak up and ask questions.
“We would love to do another class someday. I highly recommend it as a team event. Chef Sandra was engaging and really well prepared. If you want to get the team together for something they can involve their families in if they want, I think this cooking class is a fun, easy-going event,” said Rosen.
In 2020, Allata proudly made the Dallas Business Journal’s annual Best Places to work list.