[LPSM-Discuss] Re: [lpsf-discuss] Mountain View’s unusual rule for Facebook: No free food

Update: San Francisco doesn't want to be one-upped.

*"The measure, proposed by Supervisor Ahsha Safai and co-sponsored by
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, would adjust zoning laws to ban workplace
cafeterias moving forward, but would not be retroactive."*http://www.sfexaminer.com/supervisors-move-ban-workplace-cafeterias/amp/
Why would any company open an office in San Francisco at this point?

*Peskin said the legislation sought to avoid the “Amazon effect that
impacts retail and restaurants across the county,” he said. ***“This is
forward thinking legislation.”**
*“People will have to go out and each lunch with the rest of us,”
[Peskin] said.*
At least their jealousy is transparent.

How would interracting with community happen in practice in a campus
with 5000 employees? There is no way for everyone to drive during
lunch hour, or to ensure that their faviourite restaurant has space
without waiting. Plus American restaurants are not intended for
healthy every day eating.>
Tech employees would love to live close to work. If Mountain View
approved appartments in addition to office park, people would be
eating out with families in the evening.>
On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 12:24 AM, Starchild sfdreamer@...
[LPSM-Discuss] <LPSM-Discuss-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:>> __

The article states that,

"...the concept of tech companies offering free food was uncommon 20
years ago, and cities were in favor of companies in business parks
having their own cafeterias because it reduced traffic.">>

If city governments referenced offered any incentives to companies at
that time to provide their own cafeterias, it's not mentioned. But if
they did, it's another example of unintended consequences of
government intervention coming back to haunt..>>
Also not mentioned is the fact that the cafeterias providing food at
tech companies, and the caterers brought in to serve their employees,
are supporting jobs and fueling the economy just as patronizing local
restaurants does.>>
On the other hand, while the Mountain View city council's rule is un-
libertarian and should be opposed, it may well be healthier for
society if tech workers are not siloed in their offices, but get out
and interact more with others in the community. A lot of important
stuff is or could be happening at companies like Facebook and Google,
and increased transparency in terms of what's going on there is
probably a good thing. More of a closed or semi-closed corporate
campus could conceivably make the companies more susceptible to being
used for nefarious government-type purposes without the public
finding out what's going on in a timely manner.>>
Love & Liberty,
                                   ((( starchild )))

In short:
"In an unusual move, the city barred companies from fully
subsidizing meals inside the offices, which are part of the Village
Google, the city’s biggest employer, was hurting their businesses by
providing free meals, [..]>>>
Even shorter:
Government doesn't solve problems-- Government is the problem.


When Facebook moves into its new offices in Mountain View this fall,
a signature Silicon Valley perk will be missing — there won’t be a
corporate cafeteria with free food for about 2,000 employees.>>>
In an unusual move, the city barred companies from fully subsidizing
meals inside the offices, which are part of the Village at San
Antonio Center project, in an effort to promote nearby retailers.
The project-specific requirement passed in 2014, attracting little
notice because the offices were years away from opening.>>>
It came in response to local restaurants that said Google, the
city’s biggest employer, was hurting their businesses by providing
free meals, according to John McAlister, a Mountain View councilman.>>>
The daily banquets at big tech companies — fresh-made omelets for
breakfast, hand-rolled sushi for lunch, braised chicken and kale for
dinner — have become legendary. Google hired its first chef about 20
years ago, when the company had just 50 employees. Reviews of its
corporate cuisine popped up on Bon Appetit, Serious Eats and Yelp.>>>
New companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn matched the perk as they
tried to lure employees away. Staffing the cafeterias became a
booming business for the formerly sleepy field of corporate
catering. But the in-house eating places have drawn customers and
potential employees away from neighboring businesses, and city
officials are concerned that local restaurants struggle and
potentially bustling streets are empty as a result.>>>

Under Mountain View’s rules for the Village complex, meals within
the offices can’t be subsidized by more than 50 percent on a regular
basis. Facebook can fully subsidize employees if they go to
restaurants that are open to the public.>>>

“It really was geared more around trying to make sure we didn’t have
400,000 square feet of office space with people that never left the
building,” said Michael Kasperzak, a former Mountain View mayor who
worked on the legislation.. “If we have all these restaurants, we
want this to be a successful development. If employers pay for it,
that’s fine.”>>>

After leaving office, Kasperzak went on to work as a consultant for
WeWork, the large New York operator of co-working spaces. Though
Facebook is the sole tenant for now, WeWork is managing Facebook’s
facility and is considering a public food hall in the ground floor,
according to city officials.>>>
WeWork and Facebook declined to comment on the requirement.

“We found the location attractive because of its proximity to public
transportation, housing and public-serving amenities like shops and
restaurants,” said Facebook spokesman Jamil Walker. Unlike many tech
campuses, the Village project is adjacent to a Caltrain station and
includes housing..>>>
The absence of an in-house cafeteria will help boost local
retailers, said Steve Rasmussen, owner of the Milk Pail Market, a
44-year-old open-air produce market blocks from Facebook’s future

“A lot of small, independent restaurants had been impacted when some
of these companies went in-house with their food offerings,”
Rasmussen said. “I think collaboration is vital, and it makes total
Rasmussen is in talks with local restaurants to stock ready-to-eat
meals at Milk Pail Market, which currently lacks such fare.>>>
“They’re very excited about what can we do to collaborate with the
young folks who will come in with Facebook,” he said.>>>
Mountain View has been seeking other concessions from tech giants. A
November ballot measure proposes a per-employee tax that would hit
Google the hardest. Last year, a new Google campus called Charleston
East will be partially open to the public, including restaurants
that anyone can dine in.>>>
While the cafeteria provision only applies to the Facebook site,
it’s possible Mountain View could seek to impose similar conditions
on Google’s next major expansion in the North Bayshore area, where
it has its headquarters campus.>>>
Mountain View Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga said it’s possible
Google could help subsidize the rent for small businesses on its
property or have agreements with retailers to patronize their
Google didn’t respond to a request for comment on its North Bayshore
plans regarding small businesses.>>>

Abe-Koga said the concept of tech companies offering free food was
uncommon 20 years ago, and cities were in favor of companies in
business parks having their own cafeterias because it reduced
traffic. With projects like Village at San Antonio now featuring a
mix of housing, office and retail, getting people outside their
offices to frequent nearby businesses is key, she said.>>>
Mountain View’s neighbors don’t have plans to impose similar
requirements on employee cafeterias. Cupertino Vice Mayor Rod Sinks
said it’s already common to see Apple employees dine at local
restaurants; the company charges employees for meals, making outside
offerings relatively more attractive. Apple is more concerned with
secrecy: It built a glassy restaurant that resembles one of its
gadget stores on Alves Drive in Cupertino. A stand-alone building,
it’s in walking distance of some Apple offices. Though the building
is on a commercial street, the public can’t enter unless they’re the
guest of an employee.>>>
In San Jose, there are no prohibitions on businesses offering free
food, with the exception of its City Hall. When it was designed more
than a decade ago, there were concerns that a cafeteria there would
compete with local food businesses, so the city didn’t build one.
Adobe’s downtown headquarters has partially subsidized cafeterias.>>>

Near San Jose’s Diridon Station, Google is planning another huge
development. There has been no talk of restricting subsidized meals
there, said Nanci Klein, San Jose’s assistant director of economic
Chris Foley, co-owner of the Market, a food hall underneath
Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, hopes that one day the
city will follow Mountain View’s lead. Restaurants have opened in
the Mid-Market neighborhood in hopes of gaining customers from the
tech companies there, but a number have shuttered and struggled.
If there were no meals served inside those offices, that would
greatly benefit restaurants and food vendors like those in the
Market, he said.>>>
“Having (tech workers) in their offices and not engaging with the
community isn’t really good for the community or these small
businesses,” Foley said.>>>
Zendesk, a customer-support software business located a couple of
blocks down Market, doesn’t offer free lunch. Instead, CEO Mikkel
Svane has recommended employees go to nearby restaurants such as Tu
Lan and Farmerbrown. Once a month, the company pays for a group of
employees to try a new restaurant, said spokeswoman Courtney


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