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Appèl Catering

At more than 600 locations in the Netherlands, Appèl provides catering for companies, schools and reception services. Corona turned everything upside down for this successful family business with more than 2000 employees from one day to the next. Although the corona crisis is not over yet, we can already look back on a year that was all about adapting and keeping courage. So what role did the social intranet and the employee app play in this?

Greet brings people together

How Appèl uses its social intranet for mutual connection

  • Reaching out to people and communicating effectively even in times of crisis.
  • Employees seek the connection themselves and support each other
  • Space for employees to express themselves

HR advisor Madelon Vos says: “It was a turbulent year; let's put that first. With 600 locations, we are fragmented across the country. So in normal times, it is already a challenge to get everyone on board, let alone in a difficult time where you want to get information to the right people as quickly as possible.”

At Appèl, “Greet” - the social intranet with the accompanying mobile app - had already conquered a place in the routine of many employees at the various locations and the head quarter. Mainly to share good news and to share inspiring things with other employees. That changed due to the corona crisis.

HR advisor Tedje Koesen: “Corona has had a huge impact on our organisation and our people. From one day to the next, a large part suddenly found themselves at home due to the closure of the company restaurants and school canteens. Greet became the necessary platform for our people to retrieve information. Furthermore, Greet allowed us to respond very well to that information need, with video messages and a corona information page, for example.”

Supporting each other

In addition to sharing operational information, Greet was also used to support each other. Teddy; “During the first lockdown, “Together strong and stay positive” was pretty much our slogan. We have set up various fun promotions and sent small gifts. Tiny gestures, with which people could also support each other. For example, a bag of "Positivi-tea" with a card that you could send to someone else".

Madelon; “It was great to see how easily colleagues approached each other via Greet. Of course, if you receive a company card, it is nice to post it via Greet. People did that a lot, and this has brought employees together in a very accessible way.”

The consequences of the corona and working from home measures became clear to Appèl at the end of the summer of 2020. They spoke with their clients, but a reorganisation that involved saying goodbye to employees was inevitable. Greet was the central communication channel in this phase. In addition to personal conversations, of course, video messages were used to share important news.


Online connection

Teddy; “We now know our employees well. We know how to communicate with them. There is not a lot of fuss about it. But a reorganisation is a complicated legal process. We made drawings, supported with text and in-depth research and always with the announcement to call if people had doubts or questions about anything. Greet facilitated and supported in a great way.”

That you can create a real sense of connection via an online employee platform and a mobile app, especially in times of tension and crisis, was the experience of Appèl the past year. Madelon; “Through Greet, people could approach each other and encourage each other. You could see that in messages that people post and comment. There was room for expressing stress and worries, but above all, compassion for each other.”


At Appèl, they are now thinking about the next step. Teddy; “Now that we dare to look more ahead and are allowed to open at multiple locations, our people are once again focused on their work and less eagerly looking for information on Greet. Nevertheless, we want to continue involving and activating our people so that a visit to Greet becomes more of a routine. We have already made sure that all important documents are on Greet. And we recently used Plek's engagement module to launch our new online learning environment. We will do the same for our onboarding process. Also, more and more necessary information about projects and actions, which were previously distributed via e-mail, is now only posted on Greet. Usage is high, and we want to keep it that way.”

Your nicest colleague

Looking back on the past year, Tedje doesn't have to think long; “Greet is really indispensable to our organization. We use it for the most diverse purposes. From important and serious information to fun promotions and videos. We are now working on creating an optimal overview and ease of use in the background. We want to make Greet our comprehensive communication platform where everyone can easily go with their questions and information needs.”

Finally, a burning question. Who is Greet? Teddy; “Meeting other people is essential to us. Whether it concerns our guests or our colleagues. We have a Meet & Greet twice a year. An inspiring information and introduction party, especially for new employees. Furthermore, Greet could be a real colleague. She has her own profile on the platform and can post her own messages as: “Your nicest colleague”.