Lab Notes

  • Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.44.13 AM

    Hopefully by now you’ve already found many reasons to try Dine on Time to order food from one of the excellent eateries at Westfield San Francisco Centre. But just in case you haven’t, we’re giving you one more amazing reason to give it a try (in addition to the convenience, speed and quality food already offered!) – a chance to win an exclusive lesson in Chinese cooking from celebrity chef Martin Yan followed by dinner for six at his restaurant M.Y. China prepared by Martin Yan himself! By simply ordering through Dine on Time using your iPhone, mobile web or the Dine on Time website, you will automatically be entered to win. As a bonus, if you order from M.Y. China using Westfield Dine on Time, you will receive two entries per order. Best of all, there are no limits on the number of orders you can submit, all of which qualify you for a chance to cook and dine with an international culinary icon.


    The sweepstakes runs now through Monday, October 6, 2014, so order while you can! And don’t forget to check out Martin’s new show, Taste of Vietnam, set to debut on KQED later this fall.

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    SXSW 2015 may not be until March next year, but voting for SXSW panels just began yesterday! We’ve submitted a panel on how startups and big brands can not only happily co-exist, but must work together to create partnerships to drive the future of retail and ensure meaningful brand engagement. Titled Startups + Big Brands = Happily Ever After, our own Kevin McKenzie would be joined on a panel by our friends at Deliv, BrandGarage and General Growth Properties to discuss how they have developed these partnerships and their key learnings.

    Public voting begins now until Friday, September 5 and we need your support! To vote, begin by registering here. Then, vote for our panel by giving a thumbs up. After you vote, don’t forget to share! Each registered voter can vote once, so tell your friends to vote if you’d like to see this panel at next year’s SXSW.

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    Last week, our friends at Westfield SFC participated in the annual Eat Drink SF Food Festival in Fort Mason. Spanning three days from Friday, August 1st to Sunday, August 3rd, the Westfield booth featured chefs and menu items from the Restaurant Collection Under the Dome, including Cupola Pizzeria, La Boulange, Lark Creek Steak, Straits, the soon-to-be-opening Tap (415) and M.Y. China. Celebrity Chef Martin Yan of M.Y. China was also on hand Friday to sample his Westfield Dine on Time Secret Menu Item, Lamb Shumai. Visitors to the Westfield booth who showed they had downloaded the Westfield Dine on Time app or loaded the Dine on Time mobile website also received a Westfield tumbler!


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    CNBC Visits Westfield Labs to answer the question: What is the Future of Retail?

    Last week, we welcomed Courtney Reagan and the CNBC crew to our Westfield Labs headquarters. As part of their 25th anniversary, CNBC looked into the future of shopping and what the mall of the future would look like. Our fearless leader Kevin McKenzie was interviewed by Courtney Reagan, and our digital storefronts in both Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield Garden State Plaza were also featured! See photos from last week’s shoot below, and watch the full segment on CNBC.

    cnbc visits Westfield Labs

  • behind_the_scenes_02

    In today’s edition of Behind the Scenes we meet our first female guest, Courtney Lapin, senior manager of retail partnerships. Her career path has taken her from the fashion world, to the startup world, and now to Westfield Labs somewhere perfectly in-between the two, and while she never imagined this is where she would wind up, she couldn’t love her Westfield Labs family more!

    Courtney Lapin

    How did you find yourself working at Westfield Labs?
    I started my career working in the fashion industry in NYC – and I LOVED it. A few years ago, my then boyfriend, and now husband, got a job in San Francisco and I found myself relocating from the fashion capital of the country to the tech capital of the country – and I did not love it. I started working at a startup called CoffeeTable, which was a mobile app that allowed people to shop from catalogs as if they were on brand’s websites (something pretty revolutionary at the time,) which was my first taste of the e-commerce world, and despite my aversion to the tech world, I really loved my job and loved the idea of using technology to shop. I realized that technology is vital to retail because retail is changing. I was put in touch with Westfield Labs right as they were getting started about a year and half ago, and the rest is history!

    What do you love about being a part of Westfield Labs?
    My favorite thing about my job is the people I work with. I have never worked somewhere where the camaraderie and culture is so warm, welcoming and jovial! We eat a family-style lunch together once a week, and when people are finished eating and start to get up, I say, “No! Sit back down!” We just have such a good time together. It’s been really cool to see the company grow too. When I started there were only 35 of us and now we’re close to double that and still growing!

    What would we find you doing at 10 a.m. on a typical work day?

    Probably instilling some words of wisdom on my next-cube-neighbor Arthur. I never thought that I would be the one with some experience under my belt giving guidance to my less-seasoned co-workers and letting them know that everything WILL be alright!

    Aside from that, you’ll likely find me meeting with retailers or working with our Westfield Labs product teams. My role is really to serve as a liaison between the teams internally and the retailers who operate in our Westfield shopping centers. My main focus is trying to identify the best ways to implement our products into the existing business operations of our retail partners and in doing so, help them progress with us into the digital age of shopping and commerce. For our most recent launch of Westfield Dine on Time, I worked closely with all the food retailers in our San Francisco Centre to help implement on-demand ordering, pick-up and delivery. It was really rewarding to see our partners be able to improve their businesses and their consumer understandings through the use of our product.

    What are your insider recommendations on where to go in the mall?
    Burke Williams spa is amazing for any kind of pampering! Everyone should pamper themselves once in a while. The fact that it’s right across the hall from us doesn’t hurt either. I also love Pressed Juicery downstairs in the mall. I’m having a baby this October so I’m being extra conscious about getting all the right nutrients and they are a great one-stop shop on days when I don’t get all my fruits and vegetables in my meals.

    Last questions, is it a boy or a girl?

    It’s a boy!!

  • Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 1.58.11 PM

    We are very proud to announce that our fearless leader, Kevin McKenzie, was honored this past week with a Retail Innovator Award from Retail TouchPoints. Recognizing retail executives who are driving change through innovation in order to improve their business and the entire retail industry, Kevin and the Westfield Labs team received the award for work on recent retail innovations such as the Digital Storefronts at Garden State Plaza in New Jersey and Westfield San Francisco Centre, same-day delivery services at Century City in Los Angeles, and searchable mall in Australia.

    Kevin was among excellent company, with awards being given to executives from Warby Parker, Crate & Barrel, Sephora and Best Buy among others! Check out the other winners and learn more about the innovative strategies they implemented in 2014 here.

    A big congratulations to all the winners and cheers to even more innovation in the year ahead!

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    On Thursday 29th May, we held the 2nd Annual Hack Day: 36 hours for the digital team to work on ANYTHING they’d like to.  This year we added Gift Card prizes for the Best Hack idea and the best T-Shirt Design.

    The Hack Day is an opportunity to get those creative and innovative juices flowing and a chance for the team to tackle all the digital challenges that might not be a “right now” priority for the business. For some it was the chance to work on something that they normally wouldn’t, allowing them to step into different shoes for the day. Most of all, it allows the team to connect with our passion for collaboration and seeing brilliant ideas come to life.

    Westfield Hack Day 2014 team

    Labs teams from Australia and United States got together at the Westfield Sydney office

    After 36 hours of hard work, teams presented some unbelievable ideas and prototypes including an interactive tennis game using an iPhone.  Other ideas included a Bookable Change Room, 3-D Centre Maps, Yelp Reviews on and a Live Chat Concierge … the list went on. All hackers proudly wore their t-shirts with the winning design by Dan Sim.

    Mitch Simpson’s Hack Day idea was to create a video about the Hack Day – how meta!  It does a great job capturing the mood and atmosphere during the competition.

    There could be only one Best Hack winner and that went to the ‘Live Map Way Finding’ idea by Alec Raeside & Justin Lambert. We hope to see it in production in the near future!

    Hack Day winners

    Justin Lambert and Alex Raeside took home the prize with their idea: Live Map Way Finding

  • food_app_featureimage

    Last week, we hosted a launch event for Dine on Time with our Tastemakers, local media, food influencers and San Francisco movers and shakers. We wanted to share a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our guests! It was really wonderful to see all of our Tastemaker’s exclusive dishes, and all of our Tastemakers themselves, together in one place with special bites to eat from M.Y. China, Cupola Pizzeria, LarkCreekSteak, Straits, CocoaBella Chocolates and Sorabol Korean BBQ & Asian Noodles.

    Westfield Food TastemakersAll of our lovely Tastemakers! Andi Fisher of Misadventures with Andi,  Tara Condell of Food and Other Things, Anita Chu of Dessert First, Mika Takeuchi of Food Fashionista, Melissa Sanchez of Savvy in San Francisco  and Brenda Ton of Bites & Bourbon (left to right).

    Dine On Time Launch party Under the DomeDine on Time is officially live online and in the Apple App Store! Search or scroll through your favorite eateries and order wherever, whenever you want for scheduled pick-up or convenient bike-delivery. If you’re a first time customer, use promo code TRYDOT for 10% off your first order. And, don’t forget to check out our Tastemaker secret menu items, available exclusively through Westfield Dine on Time. Enjoy!

    Dine On Time App Secret Menu Items


  • behind_the_scenes_02

    Welcome to the third edition of Behind the Scenes with Labs! This week we sat down with Andy Trejo, visual designer and production design manager, to hear how design plays into the work we do here at Westfield Labs. (P.S. Andy painted the skyline behind him in his picture, which is on our ping-pong room wall!)
    Labs employee, Andy Trejo

    Q. Why did you join Westfield Labs? What was the path that brought you here?

    A. I started with Westfield Labs as a freelance designer when they were just getting started in 2012. They liked my work and asked me to join the team full time. I never imagined I’d be working in the retail space, but I’ve liked it since the start!

    Q. What is the hardest challenge you find in developing retail/shopping technologies?
    A. The biggest challenge in my mind is trying to appeal and accommodate to the wide variety of customers we get in our shopping centers. We don’t want to turn off the luxury shoppers with too many bargains, but we also don’t want to intimidate the bargain shoppers either. When I’m working to design emails or work on our websites, I really have to think about finding that happy medium that makes everyone comfortable.

    Q. What are some of the things you love about Westfield Labs?

    A. Everyone is super friendly and has a great sense of humor. That kind of environment really lends itself to good creativity. On top of being funny and fun to be around, everyone is super talented! All of that combined allow us to find inspiration on a regular basis, which is one of the reasons we are so successful as a team.

    Q. What are your insider recs on places to shop, eat and/or relax at the mall?
    A. If you want to catch some sunshine, the Sky Terrace, an outdoor terrace on the 9th floor, is a great place to check out. Not too many people know about it, and it’s a little hard to find – there are no signs and only one special elevator takes you there – so it makes it a perfect place to step away and clear my mind. My other tip is to check out Café Bellini before 11 a.m. when they have a coffee version of “happy hour” and you can get a cup of coffee for next to nothing!

    Q. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

    A. Believe in yourself and your work. There was a time early on when I was feeling a little hesitant and insecure, and someone told me, “They hired you for a reason!” Since then, I’ve learned to have confidence in my work and trust my talents.

  • food_app_featureimage

    Last week, we told you that our team had a solution for the meal time rush at our Westfield San Francisco Centre. Today, we are excited to announce the launch of Westfield Dine on Time! This new food experience is being piloted in San Francisco and allows customers to order from Westfield San Francisco Centre’s Food Emporium and Restaurant Collection Under the Dome for scheduled pick-up or bike delivery for convenient dining via iPhone app, online and mobile web.

    Running short on time at work, but have a killer craving for M.Y. China? Place an order with Dine on Time and have the order delivered right to your office! Rushing home from work and don’t have the time to wait for a delicious wood-burning oven pizza from Cupola Pizzeria, but need to put a meal on the table? Order with Dine on Time and have your order ready for pick-up when you arrive at the restaurant!

    Dine on Time allows you to enjoy many of the delicious eateries in the San Francisco Centre quickly and easily without sacrificing the quality you have come to expect. Enjoy the same customization options you would have when ordering in person with easy in-app and online payment.

    Last week we also introduced six of San Francisco’s most beloved Tastemakers’s, who have partnered with us to celebrate the launch of Dine on Time. Each Tastemaker was paired with a chef or owner of one of our food retailers and they worked together to create secret menu items available exclusively to the Dine on Time app and website. Check out these delicious dishes – order and give them a try!

    Andi Fisher of Misadventures with Andi with M.Y. China, Chef Tony Wu – Lamb Shui Mai
    Mika Takeuchi of Food Fashionista with LarkCreekSteak Chef Ismael Macias – Bacon-Wrapped Mary’s Free-Range Chicken Breast
    Melissa Sanchez of Savvy in San Francisco with Cupola Pizzeria Chef Marc Tennison – ‘Nduja Pizza
    Tara Condell of Food and Other Things with Straits Chef Julian Yeo – Glazed Indonesian Chili Prawns
    Brenda Ton of Bites & Bourbon with Sorabol Korean BBQ & Asian Noodles Chef Theresa Lee – Spring Mix Noodle Salad with Shrimp
    Anita Chu of Desserts First with CocoaBella Chocolates Founder Michael Freeman – Executive Collection of Chocolates