This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Companies With Awesome Meal Perks

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- It was Napoleon Bonaparte most often attributed with the saying "an army travels on its stomach." Corporate America knows as well the power of a food-fueled workforce.

Credit the sprawling tech company campuses of the West Coast for bringing the same ingenuity and innovation that powers their success to the employee cafeteria. Quickly vanishing are the days of microwaved cheeseburgers and scoops of chicken a la king. Modern kitchens are built, and managed, with loftier goals.
The online auctioneer eBay might just have the best Indian food in Silicon Valley in its corporate cafe, but other tech giants have similarly lauded food programs for employees.

In trying to keep its workforce motivated, efficient, happy and productive -- as well as to recruit and retain talent -- an increasing number of companies are viewing high-quality employee meals as a crucial perk.

"The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees' way," Google's (GOOG - Get Report) former CEO Eric Schmidt had written on a recruitment page addressing company perks. "We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, car washes, dry cleaning, commuting buses -- just about anything a hardworking employee 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."

While food perks can be expensive (in 2008 Cisco (CSCO) altered its offerings after determining it was spending $20 million a year on soda and bottled water alone) there can be tax incentives for companies that foot some or all of the cost. Companies traditionally get a 50% deduction for employee meals but can deduct the full value if, in broad terms, they can make a case the offering is a business imperative and not just a fringe benefit. (Employees can then also escape having to claim the meals as "compensation.")

What the companies offer and charge can vary. While most of the top tech companies on the West Coast offer 24/7 snack, sandwich and beverage service, mealtimes typically fall within normal business hours at onsite cafes. And while Facebook and Google offer meals, snacks and beverages free for employees, others have food programs that are only partially subsidized, or not at all. At Cafe 17 and eBay Park, two restaurants at eBay's (EBAY - Get Report) San Jose Campus, meals typically cost employees $7 to $8. At Yahoo!'s (YHOO) URL's Cafe, open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, breakfast runs about $3, with lunch in the $5 to $6 range.
1 of 8

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
EBAY $23.64 -0.69%
GOOG $708.14 0.96%
MSFT $49.95 0.02%
SBUX $56.00 -0.44%
AAPL $92.15 -1.20%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,680.71 +20.00 0.11%
S&P 500 2,049.93 -0.70 -0.03%
NASDAQ 4,709.31 -7.7840 -0.17%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs