Catering to the Web crowd: brainfood at Google
The market leader among search engine providers is the American technology company Google Inc. Launched in 1998, Google quickly rose to the top of the international rankings. When it came to choosing a site for its biggest research and development facility outside the USA, the company decided on Switzerland. Today, this location houses a team of 750 creative people from 75 different nationalities who work on projects including Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and AdWords (Google advertising). Together with Google Search – which the Zurich team also works on – these rank among the search engine provider's most successful services.
The Zurich-based Googlers (a.k.a. Zooglers) enjoy a workplace atmosphere which aims to inspire the development of new, innovative services. It includes a model railway, bright and colourful walls, communication zones in every corner, igloos and recycled gondolas for making phone calls, pool tables, table football games, a nursery, fitness and spa facilities, and endless stocks of food and drink – all free. The company is choosy about who it hires, selecting only the best of the world's IT experts and keeping them loyal and motivated. It does this by creating a lifestyle ambience with fun highlights, relaxation and leisure facilities, and freedoms that 'traditional' employees can only dream about. The entire working environment is focused on promoting creativity.
Google also offers a wide choice of catering options. The company understands that a balanced diet increases people's motivation and mental abilities, so food is an important part of the company's working environment. From restaurant counters to buffet options, Zooglers choose whatever they need to boost their brainpower morning, noon, and night – and any time in between. As well as the Milliway restaurant on the ground floor (also accessible via a tube slide from the first floor) and the Fork outlet which is specialised in Asian cooking, employees can also make use of the microkitchens located on every floor. Coffee, soft drinks, cakes and snacks are all on hand to break up the working day.
Kitchen operations are in full swing for the morning, lunchtime and evening shifts, both out front and behind the scenes. Zooglers are welcome to invite friends and family members to eat with them, so the number of meals served each day can easily reach 1,200. Between shifts the dishwashing machines run at full capacity. Dishwashing technology from Meiko tackles crockery, baskets, GN containers, pots, pans, cutlery and even glasses, getting everything perfectly clean. Chef de cuisine Franz Ays expects only the very best: "We need multifunctional dishwashing technology from a company that provides outstanding service. And the results have to be perfectly hygienic and sparkling clean."