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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Forcing office workers to go out for lunch

I read an interesting story in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding tech companies and their in-house cafes/cafeterias.

From the article: "In an attempt to attract employees to local restaurants and businesses, Supervisors Ahsha Safaí and Aaron Peskin are co-sponsoring an ordinance that would ban 'employee cafeterias' from new office buildings in the city. This comes as local retailers, particularly those downtown, complain of a drop in business as more companies offer their workers meals in private corporate cafeterias, Safaí said."

The reason the story stuck out to me was because I had a conversation last week with a Grove restaurant owner. I mentioned that business must be up and will be up with all the new office buildings in the Grove. He told me that it wasn't the case. I told him I see so many people out and about at lunch time, I often ask, "Where did all these people come from?" If you stand in front of CocoWalk most weekdays, there are many people walking up and down the streets.

I was told that the people are from the many offices in the Grove but that they are not eating in the restaurants, they are probably out just stretching their legs.

I know that there are cafes in the tech offices here because they are easily seen, most right near the office entrances. And I assume the new offices going up at the Oak Street Garage location and the space next to Greenstreet will also have their own kitchens and cafes, as that is the way things are now, gone are the rooms with a vending machine, now it's all about catering to the workers where gyms, cafes and game rooms are part of today's office. In the past, food trucks were brought in as treats for the workers.

I'm not sure how this law would work in San Francisco, or if it is even legal. How can you keep people from eating and serving food in their own offices and buildings.

I'm wondering how it works here. Are office workers not spending money in the Grove? I know of some people who go out for lunch every day, I see them, so many people eat in the same spots out of habit, including myself. And I also see small groups that seem to be out for lunch, every day at the same time I see them out and about going to a different location each day. If this is not the case and they are only out stretching their legs, it seems that the new offices are only benefiting the developers and they are not bringing anything to the village except more traffic and less parking spaces.

Any comments from those who work in these tech places where cafes are present? Do you go out and eat in Grove restaurants or do you stay in the office and eat free?

Related story: Facebook banned from providing free lunch to employees

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12 Comments:

Blogger Kristi Stout said...

One obvious fact is missing. Many people bring their own lunch in order to be healthy and save money.

July 26, 2018 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Kristi...the $10 lunch is a thing of the past. To go out and get a simple salad is going to set you back $15-$20. Perhaps the restaurants in the Grove should have more lunch specials that cater to the people that work in the Grove. We have the Code 33 for the Grove Residents...perhaps they can start something for the Grove Employees

July 26, 2018 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Kristi. Law makes no sense and will never fly! Talk about restricting freedom.

July 26, 2018 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Kristi is spot on. When I worked in Center Grove, going out for lunch everyday just didn't make sense - I'd waste a whole hour, ended up eating more than I should have, and the expenses would add up. Sometimes I'd hit up the Bookstore, Subway, or Jimmy Johns for a quick meal, but again, that would lead to unhealthy choices.

Regarding that article - that ordinance won't happen.

July 26, 2018 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Tony G said...

Most ideas originating from california are terrible.

July 26, 2018 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our firm is going to occupy the entire new Oak building and will not have an in house cafeteria. People are drawn to cheap quick lunches and there really isn't anywhere to walk to where you can just pick up a quick sandwich. If you look the SBS building - they have a cafeteria (open to the public) that is always packed bc they have cheap quick options. That's what office workers want.

July 26, 2018 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you have it. High rents equal high priced unhealthy meal choices. Like most services adjustments will take place and some young game changer will figure out how to attract some of this office crowd. Jobie Steppe

July 26, 2018 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Farm Fresh or Sushi Maki for a healthy lunch plus a little walk.

July 26, 2018 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything is Miami in princess at Tourist dollars. After you pay for Housing/Real Estate/Rent, not much is left. The phrase is 'House Poor'.

July 26, 2018 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss fat Tuesdays
so sad!!!

July 27, 2018 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, there are not that many options left in the Grove for lunch. Most places that had a decent lunch option are closed and gone. The ones that are left don't have a lunch menu. As someone said before, having lunch costs $15/$20 - You cannot do that very often.

August 01, 2018 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a tech worker in the grove that also lives in the grove and I make what I consider a very good living. That said, I can not afford to have lunch more than once or twice a month in the grove as the prices are way too high. I am not blaming the restaurants as the need to figure out what formula fits their target market. I normally just order from Jimmy Johns in a pinch or take left overs with me to warm up. If there were true lunch specials with less quantity in the $10-$15 range then I would probably eat out at least a couple times a week.

August 27, 2018 12:21 PM  

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