Facebook's New Office Not Allowed to Offer Free Food

One city attempts to convince its future employees to actually go out for lunch.

By Ethan L. Johns
July 24, 2018

Image: iStock

Raise your hand if you’ve thought about trying to work for Facebook, just so you could get at that free cafeteria. We here at Genius Kitchen won’t self-incriminate (we know the bosses are reading…), but we have definitely heard good things.

Too bad, then, for employees slated to work at Facebook’s newest digs in the WeWork office complex in Mountain View, California, who won’t be receiving that perk thanks to a requirement from the city government.

The rule, which only applies to the “Village” development—which features apartments, a gym, a hotel and a “luxury” movie theater—was actually laid down in 2014, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Why? Well, free food in the office means you never actually have to leave. And when employees never have to leave for lunch, the local economy—particularly its restaurants, cafés and grocery stores—sees no benefit.

So in an effort to spread the wealth around, the city told Facebook that it could not regularly subsidize its’ employees’ in-house meals by more than 50 percent. If employees want to eat their lunch at local restaurants, Facebook is free to pay for the whole enchilada (both figuratively and literally, depending on the menu of the day).

Protecting local businesses while simultaneously forcing techies to come back and join us in the real world? Well played, Mountain View, well played.

Still hungry? Follow Genius Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more fresh food news, served daily. Use #GeniusKitchen to let us know what you're sharing!

Got a smokin' hot tip? Contact the GK News Desk at gkeditteam@gmail.com with story ideas.

get the Food.com app.

Watch on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Roku, or Fire TV.

Learn More

About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns