How Lunch Revolutionized Penji’s Creative Process

Johnathan Gryzbowski

November 15, 2018

Creative Process

Eating lunch… We all do it but do we truly know how important lunch can be for your psyche? Or better yet, how important it can be for your business!?

Lunch is more than just food to us here at Penji. It’s a way for us all to 

further communicate with one another

to get to know each other

and build a stronger bond. 

At Penji, although we are growing rapidly throughout our official first year in business, we are still a relatively small team. Something that we do that is rather unique is that at 2pm, every work day, we all shut our computers down (for the most part), take out our food for the day, and eat together. We have an hour break. So if you’re a customer and try to reach us, there is a strong chance, we won’t get back to you until at least 3pm EST.

You might think that this repeated act is cumbersome, annoying, or may even decrease productivity throughout our company. But in actuality it’s not. In this rat race of life and finding that true definition of success, it’s nice to be able to sit back, relax, and have meaningful conversations with your team members or coworkers.

I’d like to share how lunch in revolutionized our startup:

Lunch and learns

We’ve all heard of them and I am sure we all feel a certain way about lunch and learns. However we wanted to change the negative connotation between what a Lunch and Learn was. We take education incredibly serious here at Penji. So serious, that every week we have a lunch and learn about any particular topic we choose. Each week, the administrative team nominates a fellow team member to teach something interesting during lunch. The beauty behind the words “something interesting” is that something interesting is so vague. We make sure that it’s not just about business. It can be about:

  • A team member’s passion
  • Their favorite foods
  • How to cook a certain meal
  • Arts and crafts. One in particular where we had to create a playing card for the person to our right. 
  • How to properly use gifs on Slack

All of which have been done. And you can only imagine how many gifs are now used within our Slack channels.

Pop Culture References

At Penji, we LOVE YouTube. On some days, we all gather around a few of the computers in the office to watch trending videos. Some of our favorites are:

  • Good Mythical Morning
  • Matt Stonie
  • Try Guys
  • Stephanie Soo
  • OfflineTV
  • Swoozie
  • Erik the Electric

Even though we are watching these YouTubers, it actually helps our creative process. A lot of our marketing ideas and even content have stemmed from these mindless minutes of watching the new generation of TV.


During lunch, we started livestreaming on Penji’s Facebook and Instagram to engage with our audience. We ran a quick pilot where we would record a fun lunch video every Thursday. The pilot went incredibly well. So well, we are about to launch a new version of our livestream in 2019. The videos put faces to the brand without being too serious. You can see Naciye Cakir and Jie Kuang competing to eat chicken nuggets, myself and my cofounder Khai Tran play Pie Face, or Sekinah Brodie playing Never Have I Ever. We’re inviting you into our office to get a glimpse of our #culture. Although the first pilot was more for fun and games. We want to take education and value up a notch by offering more education content that you can “snack” onto so to speak that you can directly apply to your business.


During this time of relaxation, we aren’t necessarily supposed to work. However, we still find a way to do so. At times during lunch, we’ve used this hour to brainstorm and bounce ideas. This time was the best for innovation because we did not feel the constraints of being “on the clock” and our creativity shines through. Even though we have “worked” through lunch, there are days where we don’t do anything but sit back and relax in a bean bag chair. It ultimately depends on the day, but having this piece of mind is important.

In closing, at times, we all work so hard. It’s good to reset the clock and know that life isn’t always about working your tail off. You can have not only work hard, but play hard too.

As always please reach out anytime if you have any questions at or connect with me directly at You won’t want to miss next week’s episode where we talk about “3 pillars to get any job you want” Catch you next Thursday, until then. Go out there and execute your vision, have a great rest of your day.!