Elon Musk Plans To Discontinue Twitter’s Free Food Policy
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Twitter has been in the headlines ever since the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has acquired the microblogging site. Even though it has been two weeks since the takeover, the controversies don’t seem to end. Be it mass layoffs or monthly fee for blue tick, it seems the acquisition has triggered a whole new level of controversies. In one such scenario recently, the Tesla chief was found to be sparring with the company's former Vice President of Work Transformation, Tracy Hawkins, on Twitter over the employees’ lunch cost. Yes, that’s right.  

It all started when Elon claimed that the company was spending a hefty amount on employees' lunch, even when the occupancy in office has been low. He also announced that he would not keep the service for free anymore, besides other changes. Following which, Tracy took to Twitter to express her disagreement with the claim and replied to Elon’s tweet claiming that he was lying. She wrote, "This is a lie. I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn't want to work for @elonmusk. For breakfast and lunch, we spent $20-$25 a day per person”. 

Elon took no time to reply to Tracy’s post and wrote, "False. Twitter spends $13Mn/year on food service for San Francisco Head Quarter". He further debunked the former Twitter employee's claim by stating, "Badge in records show peak occupancy was 25%, average occupancy below 10%". Well, this leaves us wondering about the actual fact.  

For the unversed, the controversy over lunch at Twitter headquarters started when Elon in his first-ever meeting with employees announced that the company will undergo many changes soon, which include ‘no free food’ henceforth.  

Whatever be the case at Twitter, this makes us wonder about the free food policy at other tech giants in the US including Meta and Google. Two of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley are known for their perks for employees in the office, and it includes free food. In fact, a lavish buffet in the case of Google, which is well-known for its staff perks, and has been credited with starting the trend of high-quality, free corporate catering. However, it also changed when the office opened up after the pandemic in 2021, as Google’s cafeterias moved from buffet-style meals to boxed, grab-and-go meals and individually packaged snacks in its US offices. 

Meta too pushed back on its perks of free food. However, instead of cutting it down completely, the company delayed the daily free dinner by half an hour (from 6pm to 6.30pm), according to a report published in the New York Times. The pushed-back dinner service reportedly meant that fewer employees will get to eat on campus, as the company’s last shuttle bus departs the office at 6pm. As a result, employees will now have to choose between a free meal or a free ride home. It will also make it more difficult for employees to stock up on free food to bring home as leftovers, which was becoming a concern for the company. The announcement came early this year when employees prepared to return to office. On the other hand, Amazon and Apple – the other two major tech companies - don’t offer free food as one of their perks. What’s your take on free food as a perk at work? Let us know.