Three of Microsoft’s Cafés (16, 31 and 43) at the company's Redmond, WA, headquarters campus recently underwent extensive renovations featuring updated designs, lighting, seating areas, food genres, brands and completely cashless environments.
Café 16 (which opened May 13th), the first to undergo renovation, is designed to reflect a Marketplace in downtown Seattle, where as soon as they walk in, customers see food being prepared in an aesthetically appealing environment. Café 31 (which opened June 24th) was designed to create an Asian/Zen environment while the design of Café 43 (opened July 1) embodies Latin/Brazilian flair.
The new touchscreen kiosks at each station allow customers to place and pay for their orders simultaneously, decreasing transaction time and the time spent waiting in line. The cashless method additionally increases speed of service, sales and check averages, all while enhancing customer satisfaction.
Cashless convenience-style stores have also been added to all three locations, offering grab-and-go snacks, ready-made meals, gourmet beverages and more. The remodeled Cafes & the Market stores accept credit/debit cards, meal cards and dining coupons and gift cards, making it more convenient than ever to dine at the campus or take a meal to go.
With the renovation also came new local restaurants & concepts. Customers can choose from a variety of options, including Napoli Pizza, The Sub Shoppe, @Burger, a Wellness station & a Chef’s Table featuring exhibition-style cooking. A new Local Restaurants station features a regular rotation of Puget Sound area favorites.
Each Café also hosts its own unique concept. Café 31 features a rotating Mongolian Grill called Flattop31 while Café 43 offers a newly-created Latin concept called Fuego. Café 16 has a French-themed espresso station called Café au Lait offering house-made croissants & pastries.
In an effort to make eating healthy easier, a new green/yellow/red menu labeling system has been introduced campus-wide, called Real Easy Wellness. Based on The Healthy Eating Plate from the Harvard School of Public Health, Real Easy Wellness serves as a quick-reference guide to healthy eating.
“By creating cafés that are compelling to customers, we enhance the RE&F [Real Estate & Facilities] value to Microsoft, and help to support overall employee productivity,” says Paul Egger, Senior Services Director for Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities. “We also help to create a competitive differential for Microsoft that helps us to ‘attract, develop & keep’ the industry sector’s most sought after talent.”
Since reopening, Café 16 has experienced a 31% growth in participation, a 41% sales lift, a 17% check average growth and a 21% increase in customer counts. (Metrics on the openings of Café 31 & 43 are not yet available.)