Each summer, the Microsoft company headquarters in Redmond, Wash., holds its One Week celebration, where employees come together to learn about new company products and services through a series of events that range from an expo of company products and a science fair to what is billed as the world’s largest “hackathon” (a kind of multidiscipline collaborative effort to which employees and customers can turn for solutions on their projects and trouble-shooting of their problems).
All Microsoft departments are invited to showcase their innovations to their peers and co-workers at this large in-house gathering, and the dining team is no exception.
The department, which operates foodservices on the sprawling campus, joined with the Eventions events/catering team to create Byte of Microsoft to highlight their activities in areas ranging from dining and catering to health and sustainability programs while serving out plenty of samples of their culinary creations.
Byte of Microsoft goals include creating customer visibility for Dining and Eventions services; showcasing the wide variety of food options and innovative culinary offerings available on the campus; highlighting vendor partners; educating about sustainability initiatives such as onsite hydroponic and microgreen cultivation and misfit produce reclamation; introducing local farm, brand, restaurant and chef partnerships; and driving employee engagement and participation.
With each successive One Week event, Byte of Microsoft refines its approach to maximize service levels and thru-put capacity. Among changes it rolled out this year were a centralized dining tent to eliminate the duplication of culinary/service lines and to allow for longer serving lines to be set up; condiment tables positioned outside the dining tent to help ease traffic congestion; the serving of food all day long rather than at just set meal periods to help eliminate “rush” times; positioning the culinary finishing/prep tent directly behind the service tent to allow for quick replenishment; relocating the beer garden and ID checking station away from food entrance areas to ease congestion; and introducing servers to support guests as needed.