Saturday, August 25, 2007

Food at Work

The most innovative company cafeterias: Going far beyond the stereotypes of rubber chicken and frozen burritos. An excerpt:

Google is far from alone among tech firms in offering employees innovative dining options. Microsoft (MSFT) boasts 26 cafés at its main Redmond (Wash.) campus, with several more slated to open this year and next—and that's not counting the pantries scattered throughout the buildings and the more than two dozen coffee stands.

But it's not just workers in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs who enjoy the benefits of good grub on the job. Plenty of companies in a variety of businesses in every corner of the country offer meals on site. The menus are diverse, and so are the reasons for offering food service. Some employers cite productivity as their prime consideration; when employees eat in the company's cafeteria, they save time they would have spent foraging at nearby fast-food chains and delis. "I want people to be well-fed and satisfied," Michael Bloomberg, the current New York mayor and former chief executive of Bloomberg, the financial data business he founded in 1981, told Fast Company magazine in a 1995 interview. "I want them to be able to grab a cup of coffee with a colleague and hash things out. But most of all I want them to stay here. I don't want them leaving."

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