From everything I’ve heard, Google is a great company to work for. They get benefits up the wazoo aimed at making them more productive while taking their mind off of every day chores. According to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO…
“The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee engineer might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.” (from Google)
First-class dining facilities? You mean like a nice clean cafeteria serving burgers and sandwiches? Hardly. According to Food & Wine…
There are coolers packed with drinks. We left with Gus Dry Meyer Lemon Soda, Smart Water, Cosmic Cranberry Synergy tea (an organic, raw Kombucha—a handmade Chinese tea that’s cultured for 30 days, and that we’re told Madonna drinks!) in our purses; the drinks are all free to Google employees, and to interlopers like us.
The cafeteria includes the following stations: The Chelsea Grill, a Raw Bar, a Ceviche Station, Antipasti, a Salad Bar, a Soup Station, a Spa Cuisine bar and one for Dessert. The only one we didn’t hit was a Home Cooking station. Our plates were full. Nearly 50 local farms, seafood purveyors and sources of general yumminess are handwritten on a board near the Earth & Water station (where they serve a different fresh fish every day). There are also baskets of fresh fruit everywhere: yellow kiwis, prickly pears, apples and peaches.
And as for Food & Wine’s favorite Google cafeteria selections…
- From the Raw bar: Shredded carrot and jicama with peanuts, ginger and grapes (one of the chefs told us she’d created the recipe that morning). Zucchini “pasta” with sweet peas and a creamy pine nut sauce.
- From the Ceviche Station: Sesame soy tuna with rice noodles (large chunks of raw tuna—more of a tartare than a ceviche, but delicious).
- From Earth & Water: Pan-seared salmon with forestiere [wild mushroom] sauce and sauteed spinach with chive oil and garlic.
- Chelsea Grill: Pulled pork sandwich with raw cabbage slaw (Fred Thompson allegedly said it was some of the best barbecue he had in NYC).
- To Drink: Fresh prickly pear, beet and plum/apricot waters (pitchers filled with fresh sliced fruit and vegetables; the beet water was a gorgeous hot pink).
- Dessert: We eyed the lavender and honey whipped cream with fresh blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, but opted for Google It’s Its (a natural, locally sourced, trans-fat-free version of the iconic San Francisco ice cream sandwich: vanilla ice cream between two oatmeal cookies, dipped in chocolate). There was also cinnamon angel-food cake, green tea madeleines and fresh peach and agave smoothies. We enjoyed (read: inhaled) our It’s Its on the terrace, which overlooks the city skyline and has amazing views of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.
So employees get a gourmet lunch? Yup. And if they come to work on an empty stomach or want to work late, they can enjoy a gourmet breakfast and dinner as well.
But what if I get hungry after lunch? Got any snacks?
Employees can snack from free mini-convenience stores filled with everything from organic gummy bears to cereal, yogurt, health bars, pretzels, bottled water and even some seemingly contraband sodas.
Ok, I’m in. Sign me up. Now I just need to learn how to do computer programming.
Wanna see what they eat? Click here.