Skip navigation
5 Things
GettyImages-1479223269.jpg Gary Hershorn / Contributor / Corbis News / Getty Images
Cafés at Google's campuses are some of the search giant's most famous employee perks as workers have access to free meals but the company is closing some of its cafés "until further notice" as part of its plan to cut costs this year.

5 things: Meal perk cutbacks irk staff at Meta and Google

This and the effect on beer sales of new rules speeding up Major League Baseball games are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

 1.    Google closing some cafes, limiting hours at others

Cafés at Google's campuses are some of the search giant's most famous employee perks as workers have access to free meals but the company is closing some of its cafés "until further notice" as part of its plan to cut costs this year. While many will still be open "at their current service levels," some will be closed certain days and others will be completely closed "until further notice," according to memos sent to staff. "We reviewed quantitative info—such as the number of people coming on-site, café capacity and service hours—plus qualitative details such as menu variety and nearby dining options," Michael Bakker, the vice president of global-workplace programs at Google, wrote in the memos.

Read more: Leaked memos show Google is closing some of its cafés 'until further notice' as it cuts back on employee perks

 2.    Meta cuts back on free cafeteria meals

In a year of cost-cutting across Silicon Valley, Meta has angered their current employees further by cutting back on free cafeteria meals, having previously eliminated free laundry and dry cleaning for staff, according to a new New York Times report. The company has also gotten rid of takeout boxes, making it harder for workers to take a free meal home for dinner and the cafeteria has also cut cereal and snacks from the menu. The free dinner service now does not begin until 6:30pm each day, 30 minutes after the free shuttle leaves the company's Menlo Park campus, in a bid to deter more workers from using it.

Read more: No such thing as a free lunch! Meta workers complain social media giant has cut back on free cafeteria meals and cereal, as owner Mark Zuckerberg prepares to slash another 10,000 jobs from ailing firm

 3.    Faster Major League games have some teams extending beer sale cutoffs

Thanks to the pitch clock, the action is moving much faster at Major League Baseball games, which also means a little less time for fans to enjoy a frosty adult beverage. To combat that time crunch, at least four teams—the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers—have extended alcohol sales through the eighth inning this season while others, like the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, still have seventh-inning cutoffs, but haven’t ruled out changes.

Read more: Major League Baseball teams extend beer sales after pitch clock shortens games

 4.    Students start fresh produce business at Cal Poly

Disappointed by the lack of fresh fruit and vegetable options available at campus dining locations at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, three freshmen roommates took matters into their own hands and started a business that would provide students with easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables. They worked with campus dining officials to establish Poly Produce, a stand outside of the Vista Grande dining center that sells a variety of fresh produce to students on Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sourced from distributor Vesta Foodservice, the produce is sold at a minimal cost plus arrangement to students who can use their meal plan money on their PolyCard to make the purchases.

Read more: How three freshman roommates started a successful produce stand on campus

 5.    Here’s what Czech kids prefer for their school meals…

What do school kids in the Czech Republic like to eat for lunch? According to an extensive survey and data analysis conducted by Primirest, the largest provider of school catering in the country, they include beef sirloin in cream sauce, fish sticks, chicken schnitzels, roasted pork neck in a creamy sauce(!) and spaghetti with Bolognese sauce. What, no pizza?

Read more: Sweet and saucy lunch: Favorite Czech school cafeteria meals revealed

Bonus: FM On Demand with Tara Fitzpatrick: Breaking down the process of sourcing whole animals at Montana State U

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.