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Facebook's new office has no free meals – by law



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SAN FRANCISCO – For most technical staff there is something like a free lunch, but these days could come to an end.

When Facebook opens a new office in Mountain View, California, this fall, it will be outlawed by law to offer its employees the complimentary chef-prepared meals they currently enjoy at Menlo Park Headquarters, eight miles away ,

The city of Mountain View, one of Silicon Valley's cities and home to Google's headquarters, has passed the restriction of free meals in 201

4 – although the rule only concerns a specific development in which Facebook is preparing office space for 2,000 employees.

Google offers its staff free meals in a cafeteria on-site and will not be affected by the regulation

It's a small rule, but one that highlights the growing tension around the impact of the big technology companies on t have heir communities. Although tech companies have created high-paying jobs, they have also pushed up real estate prices and created other issues such as heavy traffic.

"Many of these companies have been touting the boom of their employees in our local economy just to provide us with everything from 24-hour gourmet catering to on-site cleaning," said San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin in a statement.

Also in San Francisco, the idea of ​​rules against free meals comes up. A new regulation, proposed by two members of the municipal supervisory body, would ban free cafeterias in future office buildings.

The ban on the quintessential work in Silicon Valley is designed to allow employees to leave the office and patronize local businesses, Councilman John McAlister said earlier this year the Mountain View Voice

"If you claim a large portion of the property but giving people no reason to go to the shops is not good for the sustainability of the area, "he said.

In San Francisco, the proposed regulation would replace the existing technology giants in the city, such as Uber and Twitter, which offer free meals to their employees, but do not forbid them and all other companies to open a free cafeteria in a new office.

Free meals are "pretty standard in the technology industry, so people expect it," said Harry Glaser, CEO and co-founder of Periscope Data.

Glasers company serves luncheon and d from Monday to Friday up to 150 employees at Periscope Data headquarters, near a densified area where Uber, Twitter, Square and other technology giants have offices

But there might be a way give on which everyone wins.

Instead of relying on an in-house cafeteria to feed 150 employees, Glaser said the company hosts their meals from local restaurants and everyone eats together at a long communal table.

"It's cultural, I like that we have a dining room and the whole team comes together and eats together," he said. "As the company grows, we want to make sure we have an inclusive culture – whether in sales or engineering, new or long here."

Dinner will be served around 18:30. "It has not been my experience that makes people work longer," he said. "But I know some companies said that."

Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said the regulation would have no impact on businesses supplied by local restaurants and targets cafeterias instead. 19659004] "Employees who never leave their offices are of little economic benefit to the city around them if their businesses do not buy groceries from local businesses," she said.


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