The Culture Club: Meet Lala, New York’s Donut-Loving Vendor Specialist

The Culture Club: Meet Lala, New York’s Donut-Loving Vendor Specialist

Welcome to ZeroCater’s Culture Club where we’ll introduce you to the standout stars working behind the scenes to make sure our customers have delicious office meals and snacks, each and every time.

“It has been a privilege to work with Lala and to witness, firsthand, her commitment to the success of our vendors. Lala is analytical, solutions-oriented and relentlessly driven. Her positive, forthcoming, and adaptable nature is contagious and endlessly appreciated. We are fortunate to have Lala on the vendor team (2.5 years and going strong!) and at the helm of our forthcoming VRM rollout.” – Alyssa Reaves, Head of Logistics and Vendor Operations.

  • Name: Lala Liban
  • Title: Vendor Partnership Specialist
  • City: New York

In your own words, what does ZeroCater do?

ZeroCater connects companies who are looking to feed their employees with a diverse set of local restaurants hand picked by our Vendor Team. Beyond connecting companies, our Client Success team provides world-class customer service to our clients and tailors their meal schedule to fit their budget, dietary restrictions, and preferences.

Tell us about your role on the team, and how it’s grown since you started.

I’m the New York and DC Vendor Partnership Specialist. I work with all of our wonderful restaurant partners to ensure they are performing to our standard, happy with the partnership and serve as a liaison for them between then and our client/sales team.

What were you doing before, and why did you decide to join ZeroCater?

I was a marketing intern at Chipotle. I knew I wanted to stay in food but wanted to get out of marketing and into operations. I was super excited about the opportunity at a startup in the food space that was growing fast!

What is the best part of your role at ZeroCater?

My coworkers and the relationships that I’ve built with restaurants! I love visiting them onsite, meeting their staff, hearing how they’ve grown their business since working with us and eating their delicious food.

What are the opportunities for growth at ZeroCater?

I’m currently in my third role on the Vendor Team at ZC, so in terms of positions, there has been a lot of growth. For me, it’s less about the position changes and more about the personal growth I’ve had since starting at ZeroCater. I’ve been able to hone in on a variety of different skills (data, presentation, project planning, etc) in each role I’ve had here!

At this moment, what are you most excited about at ZeroCater?

Snacks! Excited for snacks to eventually make its way to NY, but also the continued growth of the company and my fellow peers.

How do you start your day?

The Daily Briefing and New York Today on the NYTimes, followed by some Instagram and Twitter feed scrolling, a big cup of Somali tea, and emails!

Tell us two lies and one truth about yourself?*

  • I once made 250 donuts in my college dorm room for a bakery competition.
  • Chocolate banana pancakes are my favorite breakfast food
  • I once won a hot dog eating contest in the third grade

If there was a movie made about your life what would the movie title be and who would you want to play you?

The movie title would be “Donut Lover” and I would be played by my girl Michelle Obama.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I love to cook and bake! Hanging out with friends (over food) and enjoying the nice weather outside when we have it!

Last question, what is your favorite meal you’ve had at ZeroCater?

This is like choosing a favorite child! If I HAD to pick a favorite meal, it would be Khe-Yo. They’re a Laotian restaurant that does a really delicious build your own that is always an office favorite. Runner-ups would be Paradis To Go’s salad bar and Del Sur’sTaco Bar.

*The Truth? Lala once made 250 donuts in my college dorm room for a bakery competition.

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