Google’s meals — magic

February 26, 2009

Google may be tightening its belt amid the recession, but its workers don’t have to worry about losing access to the company’s celebrated food trough.

Free meals are “part of the magic of the place,” Google Finance Chief Patrick Pichette told investors at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Subsidized workplace dining fosters important “cross-polinization” by giving the worker bees a place to sit down and mingle, said Pichette in response to a question from the audience about the company’s approach to profit margins.

In recent months, Google has pulled the plug on certain projects, including its broadcast and print media advertising programs.

But Pichette insisted that the company would never reduce investments in “core activities” that are vital to its long-term objectives simply to shore up margins.

Android, the company’s smartphone software, is one of those key long-term initiatives. As are burritos and wraps too, it seems.

(Picture: Reuters)


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Good for you Google. Keeping your workers happy is a large part of being a productive business. Food costs relatively little to buy worker confidence and loyalty. It makes the employees feel like they are part of a winning team and want to do everything in their power to keep the team winning.

I do the same thing with my volunteer church choir – I feed them refreshments every rehearsal. It is a small price to pay for their continued involvement and loyalty. And it is working – we have the largest, most consistent church choir in the area. The way to a man’s heart truly is through his stomach.

Posted by Laura | Report as abusive

Can we assume that the meal is included in taxable compensation? We would not want a Tom Daschle scandal at Google!

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Google is a personal kind of company in that they make everyone feel at home.
They do for their employees in a lot of ways,……first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, car washes, dry cleaning, commuting buses, annual ski trips to the Sierra,………….It’s a good place to work and the people that do work there probably have allot of loyalty to them.
Providing perks to the rank and file instead of just upper level management makes good business sense to me.

Posted by Olddog | Report as abusive

The tax issue is important. The new world we are entering requires absolute fairness and transparency. The technology exists for people to accurately keep track of things like tax obligations. Nothing makes me more angry, as an honest taxpayer, than to hear about bums like Daschle and worse yet Mark Rich.

However, to have the right to rant and rave, we need to be sparkling clean. I hope Google pursues a very high standard. They are a wonderful company that symbolizes what is great about America.

The very last thing we need now is a Google scandal. Even a scandal over $9.95 lunches would be tragic.

Posted by Cameron Eldred | Report as abusive