8 Trendy Office Cafeterias Which Will Make Your Mouth Water
Slides to the conference room, Nerf gun fights down the hallway, hammocks for chilling out – these are all well and good, but it’s the office cafeteria which really gets people talking. The whole concept of company dining has recently been pushed to rarefied realms of scrumptiousness by companies across the globe. Here are just a few for food-lovers to start sending out resumes to.
You knew Google would be on this list, so we’re getting it out of the way early. Of course, they set the bar pretty high. Among the numerous perks which come with wearing a Google nametag is a golden ticket to one of the best office cafeterias around.
Actually, make that the best set of cafeterias: there are 25 to choose from. Employees eat for free at any one of them, with the food on offer drawing inspiration from all over the world, with nearly all ingredients grown locally. There’s even a traffic light system to keep this food bonanza from taking too great a toll on your waist line. And, when employees feel a little bushed after their mammoth meal, they can just take advantage of one of the company’s famous napping pods.
Like Google, Facebook is a mainstay on almost every list of envy-inducing office environments, and their cafeteria plays a large role in maintaining that reputation. In fact, Facebook shares more than numerous top ten plaudits with Google, with the head chef reporting that 80% of his staff were drawn from their facility.
Those pilfered experts have prepared such drool-worthy delights as duck confit with peach jam and tender braised rabbit with moscatel, cinnamon, and fresh cherries. We’re not even sure what moscatel is, but we’re certain that it’s delicious. This cafeteria even takes on challenges. One employee asked for an all-chocolate ‘Willy Wonka’ menu, and that’s exactly what Facebook got. He was also named ‘Employee of the Decade’. At least, we would imagine.
Sometimes having a great office cafeteria isn’t all about the food, it’s about the message. NetApp took that idea to heart, and started an annual event dubbed “Share Your Lunch”. The proceeds of each $10 meal goes straight to the Second Harvest Food Bank, and employees are served those meals by none other than the company executives.
If, for some reason, charity just doesn’t do it for you, then you can at least look forward to the Friday Beer Bashes. Hosted every month, the company’s hundreds of employees kick back to quaff a generous selection of beers sourced from local breweries, play foosball, pool, and ping-pong, and generally congratulate themselves on having the foresight to choose one of the coolest offices around in which to work.
We’re unfortunately not talking about the elite Special Forces unit – whose duties rarely converge with opportunities for fine dining – but of a software company based in Cary, North Carolina. One of the smaller companies on our list, they’ve made a name for themselves by offering one exceptional employee perk: access to a one-acre sustainable farm.
The produce for each of the company’s four cafeterias is sourced from this farm, with culinary connoisseurs meeting before each season in order to determine which crops will be used in upcoming meals. Break stations provide free drinks and snacks, but if employees still fail to fill themselves up they can always ask for ‘leftovers’ to take home for their dinner.
Microsoft is one of the older technology companies, at least compared to innovative young guns like Google and Facebook. However, Microsoft’s Café 16 cafeteria definitely keeps up with the new kids on the block when it comes to providing a lip-smacking selection of dishes, including meals catered for by Wolfgang Puck.
Since 2008, they’ve even gone the extra mile by stocking plenty of organic and sustainable foods. This isn’t free like it is at Google, but Business Insider reported in 2013 that a steak with asparagus and quinoa came to just $6.50 – or around £4. Money burning a hole in your pocket, but you can’t leave your computer? No problem. An in-house delivery service will ferry your fare right to your desk.
The Hearst Corporation’s Café 57 might just win the award for best cafeteria location. Perched amid a 46-story glass and steel skyscraper with views across the Manhattan skyline, employees are treated to a feast for the eyes as they sample some of the most delicious food in New York City. That’s a tough claim to make, but Hearst live up to it.
Like Google, the array of options seems almost boundless; there’s even two full-time sushi chefs who produce rolls and sashimi on demand. Think about that – this is a company which actually decided that only one sushi chef just would not do. There’s also a station for portion-controlled and calorie-controlled cuisine, so employees can both eat hearty and eat healthy.
Innocent Smoothies have proven that not all eating innovations are occurring on the other side of the pond. Situated in a five-story London building affectionately dubbed ‘Fruit Towers’, their office seems more like the grounds for an English county fair. The building’s large communal space is decked out with picnic benches and fake turf, with a large cafeteria positioned at the centre.
Food and drink are available whenever employees experience a craving, and everyone is encouraged to treat the cafeteria as one large family kitchen. Except, one large family kitchen with an unlimited supply of Innocent smoothies. In other words, the best kind. If the interior’s alfresco inspired eating arrangements aren’t quite authentic enough for you, just take things out to the tree-lined gardens.
Pera Business Park
Like Innocent Smoothies, Pera Business Park makes sure that Brits benefit from tasty treats during the working day. Understanding the value which high quality food and drink holds for hard-working employees, the mouth-watering Café Mezz is open throughout the working day, with a freshly prepared selection of meals with which to tempt your taste buds.
A trained team of baristas supply your daily caffeine injection, with plenty of drink options to choose from. Of course, anyone who feels like they’ve over-indulged can always take advantage of the on-site gym … and then come back for seconds.
If you fail to ferret out friends working in the office spaces listed above, take some consolation in the fact that what works at the top will soon be copied by others. Two sushi chefs might be pushing your luck, but, who knows, maybe just one?