Silicon Valley’s tech giants have taken workplace dining to the next level, with themed restaurants, gourmet menus, and stunning designs – and at many companies, it is all free.
But employers seeking to offer their staff subsidised meals will not have that option if the city of San Francisco follows through with a policy that would ban new construction of workplace cafeterias. The proposal is an effort to encourage tech employees to stimulate the local economy by eating at restaurants within the community.
The nearby city of Mountain View already enforces the restriction, which will forbid Facebook from building an on-site cafeteria when it opens its offices there this autumn. However, the proposal will not affect companies with existing cafeterias, like Google, Apple, and Facebook’s main offices in Menlo Park, California.
Here are the gourmet perks currently afforded to the employees of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies.
Facebook has an on-site Philz Coffee
The social media giant offers employees free unlimited food spanning healthy and guilty-pleasure options. Many of the on-campus cafeterias at the Menlo Park headquarters are more like specialised restaurants, from barbecue joints and burger shacks to smoothie stands and ice cream shops. There is even an outpost of the uber-hip Philz Coffee on campus.
As one Menlo Park employee on Glassdoor put it, the meal benefits have its upsides and downsides – “pros: free food; cons: got fat”.
Employees at Facebook’s new Mountain View offices will not have that problem. When the location opens this autumn, free food will not be offered to employees there as part of a city restriction forbidding tech companies in the region from supplying fully subsidised meals to staff.
Apple employees do not get free food – but they do get subsidised cafes
Apple is one tech giant that does not offer its employees free food (with the exception of free dinner for iOS or OS X team members) but there are multiple subsidised cafes.
The new “Spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, California, has a cafe that is four storeys high, with a massive glass door and the capacity for 4,000 hungry employees, according to a 2017 Wired profile.
The cafes subsidise everything except ingredient costs, and allow employees to pay using a payroll deduction plan. This means that although meals are not free, employees are able to get a nice tax break.
The menu is not too shabby either: Employees can have a custom-made burrito, salad, pasta, or pizza, and there is a juice bar that gives out ginger, cayenne pepper, and beat juice combo shots.
And though food is not completely free like the company’s tech neighbours, at least the apples are.
Twitter has free snacks on every floor
Twitter’s HQ in San Francisco offers employees free breakfast and lunch. There are lots of fresh options and a kitchen with snacks on every floor.
Google has so much free food, employees worry about gaining the ‘Google 15’
If there is one tech company responsible for elevating workplace cafeterias from a standard job perk to an over-the-top recruiting tool, it is Google.
The internet search giant larded its “Googleplex” headquarters in Mountain View with an assortment of free restaurants designed to serve every palate, dietary choice, and time of day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Being health-conscious seems to be a focal point at the tech company – according to one Quora user who says she works at Google, zero-calorie drinks are available in cafes and are put at eye level, with higher-calorie drinks placed lower behind frosted glass.
The snack bars at Google are apparently known colloquially as “micro kitchens” and are placed strategically between separate teams to encourage cross-team brainstorming and interaction.
There is apparently a snack bar always within 100 feet of an employee, an easy access point that a Glassdoor user pointed out could make you gain the “Google 15” if you are not careful.
Uber employees get free food and beer
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Employees at Uber also get free meals, as well as beer in the evenings, according to one Glassdoor employee.
LinkedIn offers locally sourced food
Around the same time it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn debuted a new office location in downtown San Francisco.
The black glass skyscraper comes with a gourmet kitchen offering employees free food for lunch and breakfast from a menu that rotates daily. Items like salads, lemon tarts made in-house, sandwiches, and stir fry are included, as well as kombucha.
According to one Quora user, employees at the company’s Sunnyvale location are afforded all of these perks, plus free dinner.
The new San Francisco cafeteria also sports a wall adorned with signs detailing where the food being served is sourced from locally.
Dropbox employs chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants
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As one employee on Glassdoor put it, “The Tuck Shop is frankly the highlight of working at Dropbox.”
The Tuck Shop is the company’s internal cafeteria whose chefs count experience at Michelin-starred restaurants under their belt, according to CNBC. Employees get free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and apparently no meal is ever served twice. Everything is made from scratch using mostly locally sourced ingredients, and the company even makes its own ice cream.
Menu items have included beef bulgogi with corn tortilla, hibachi grilled fish balls, and beef tataki sushi.
Salesforce intentionally did not build a cafeteria in its new tower, but it does have some free snacks
Salesforce deliberately did not include a dining hall in its new 61-floor San Francisco headquarters, Salesforce Tower.
The company – seemingly already attuned to the concerns of tech firms not being part of the community – said it wanted to encourage employees to step outside and eat at neighbourhood restaurants.
Still, the office has kitchens stocked with fresh fruit, coffee, and sodas.
Square has a smoothie and milkshake station
A post shared by Wei (@wttan) on Jun 27, 2018 at 1:17pm PDT
Square has a cafeteria serving employees breakfast, lunch, and dinner for free. There is a coffee shop in house, as well as a smoothie and milkshake station, according to one Quora user.
However, as reported by Eater , Square shuts down its cafeteria every Friday and gives its employees stipends to venture out into the neighbourhood’s local dining scene if they want.
Pinterest hosts a company-wide happy hour every Friday
Pinterest employees are offered free breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, as well as a company-hosted happy hour is served every Friday, according to Glassdoor employee reviews .
Employees also have access to The Point cafe in the downstairs lobby, a recently-opened coffee shop offering coffee, tea, and sandwiches, though the cafe is not included as a meal benefit for employees. The cafe is also open to the public.
Airbnb has beer and wine on tap
Airbnb employees are offered free breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the company’s AteAteAte cafe, named after its office address at 888 Brannan Street, according to Wired.
Beer and wine are served on tap, and espresso machines are available as well, according to employee reviews on Glassdoor.
Instagram’s New York employees can visit the Frozen Palm, a free juice and gelato bar
Instagram offers a delicious free treat to employees at its New York City headquarters : unlimited juice and gelato.
The company’s in-house dessert stand, the Frozen Palm, serves 18 flavours or smoothies and juices, which are made to order. They even have names inspired by Instagram filters, like Gingham and X-Pro II.
You can also grab a gelato in one of more than 20 flavours. The dessert is so popular, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said employees have started keeping track of how many days in a row they have eaten gelato.
Beyond sweet treats, Instagram has a fully stocked bar on site called the Thirsty Flamingo where employees can help themselves to beer, wine, and cocktails. Plus, there is a kitchen stocked with free healthy snacks, cereal, and beverages.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.