| Case Study

Leading from the heart

Uniting employees with care and connection


How it started

An employee-first philosophy

Since the opening of their first store in Rochester, New York, in 1916, to today, with more than 100 stores and 53,000 employees, one thing has remained a constant at Wegmans: a people-first philosophy.

“We know we can only be a great place to shop if we’re first a great place to work,” Peggy Riley, Vice President of Employee Communications and Engagement at Wegmans recently told Firstup.

Wegmans, ranked fourth-best company to work for in the US by Fortune magazine in 2023, with 90% of employees saying it is a great place to work, has long recognized the importance of effective internal communication. So it was only natural to launch The Dish, their custom-branded intelligent communication platform by Firstup. Wegmans couldn’t have known just how indispensable the platform would become when tragedy struck Buffalo, New York, a city where Wegmans has half a dozen stores and thousands of employees.

Wegmans employees

Where they landed

‘Culture and values in action with a digital tool’

The first of Wegmans’ five core values reads, “We care about the well-being and success of every person.” Company leadership believes there must be a commitment that every relationship, every decision, and every communication be rooted in this sentiment at all times – both digitally and in person, and especially in times of crisis.

When a mass shooting occurred in a Tops supermarket in Buffalo in May 2022, the tragedy had a profound effect on Wegmans employees everywhere, but especially in Buffalo. Many of them were at work at a supermarket that day, or had to go to work in the days that followed, traumatized by the senseless violence in their community. 

During that difficult time, Wegmans leadership was grateful to have a tool that allowed them to reach their people via The Dish. Head office could reach Buffalo-based employees in the immediate aftermath of the incident, sharing critical safety information. Not only that, but the two-way communication the platform enabled meant Wegmans employees from across the country could send messages of support to their colleagues in Buffalo.

“The two-way communication that The Dish enabled really made a meaningful difference for our employees at that time,” Peggy told Firstup. 

“It was just one of the most meaningful, inspiring experiences that we had through the platform, where it was our culture and values in action through that digital tool.”

With the caring, in-person support of both local and senior leaders and the meaningful, timely communication via The Dish, Wegmans employees in Buffalo could feel connected and cared for as they came to grips with the traumatic event that devastated their community. On a practical level, they were kept informed of essential information they needed to do their jobs, such as reduced hours at Wegmans locations in Buffalo due to the incident. At a time of crisis, an intelligent communication platform is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ – it becomes essential.



Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a supermarket chain with more than 100 stores spread across New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Founded in 1916 in Rochester, New York, Wegmans is a mission-driven, values-based family company, employing more than 53,000 people, with more than 85% of employees being deskless frontline workers. Recognized as an industry leader and innovator, Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 26 consecutive years, ranking #4 in 2023. The company also ranked #1 on PEOPLE’s 2021 ‘Companies That Care’ list.

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