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Company Cafeteria Guide: What Is a Corporate Cafeteria?

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Everyone needs to eat, that’s for certain. Often, when we talk about grabbing a bite we’re suggesting a restaurant, bar business, or grocery store. The latter comes into play with so many business owners opening a grocery store with a deli. What about other types of places to eat, though? What about a corporate or company cafeteria?

Those two terms are interchangeable. They refer to a place you can grab a bite at work, without having to leave the office building. A company cafeteria can encompass everything from coffee shops throughout the building to dining halls and pop-up restaurants. 

From an employee perspective, you might be wondering how that works and what you can expect. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of it. If you’re looking to run a company cafeteria or you’re a business wanting a cafeteria, this blog post walks you through the plans you’ll need to start.

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Corporate Cafeteria POS System

A corporate cafeteria POS system can operate in a few different ways. One option is to have POS systems for each individual food stall and coffee shop. Each POS system is a place for employees to pay directly for that brand’s goods with a customer facing POS system.

If the business provides food for employees without a charge to the employees, another option is to have one POS system. This is harder to manage, as each brand must bill to one system. This system is easier on employees and relatively simple for the business, but the overall structure of the POS system takes more work. 

Yet another option is to combine these two systems with the structure of the food brands charging separately. This way, there can be brands where employees pay, and ones where they don’t. The bills can go directly to employees or the business depending on the brand.

There are a number of different restaurant POS systems that can work for a corporate cafeteria POS system. To bring your POS system together with ordering and inventory, check out BinWise and BlueCart. 

BinWise Pro, paired with the BinScan mobile app, can help you manage your inventory, and it integrates with  50+ POS systems. The same can be said for BlueCart, which eases your order management system processes.

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Corporate Cafeteria

The aforementioned material covers much of the financial aspects of a corporate cafeteria. Now it’s time to get further into the definition and benefits of a corporate cafeteria. A corporate cafeteria is a place within an office building where employees can get lunch, coffee, or sometimes even an early dinner. 

The meals might be paid for by the employee, by the company, or a combination of the two. That can depend on the company, the office building, and the business managing the corporate cafeteria. 

Typically, a corporate cafeteria requires work badges or identification, as a corporate cafeteria serves multiple companies within one building. There are exceptions to this rule like Facebook or Microsoft, which have their own work properties with no other businesses. 

A corporate cafeteria gives employees the space to step away from work and have a coffee, lunch, and some headspace without leaving the office. For businesses, this can increase productivity and give employees an additional reason to be committed to their work.

"Key Takeaway: A company cafeteria can encompass everything from coffee shops throughout the building to dining halls and pop-up restaurants."

Best Corporate Cafeterias

There are a number of businesses to look towards for corporate cafeteria inspiration. The following four best corporate cafeterias showcase the range of possibilities in corporate cafeterias. From tech companies to animation studios, a corporate cafeteria can be designed to fit with any business.

4. Pixar In California

Pixar’s corporate cafeteria in California is called Café Luxo. The café has a wood-fired pizza oven, as well as a burrito bar, a cereal assortment, daily specials, and free fountain drinks. 

3. Apple In California

The food options throughout Apple’s cafeteria in California cover the range of cuisine you would expect from the Golden State. From French toast with strawberries for breakfast to ramen burgers–yes, ramen noodles are the bread–for lunch, employees can find anything and everything.

2. Google In New York

At Google in New York, the variety of food available is as varied as the information you can find through a Google search. From the Hemispheres café with three daily meals to coffee shops galore, Google employees don’t have to look far beyond their own top search results.

1. DreamWorks Animation In California

The DreamWorks Animation company cafeteria in California has a variety of free breakfast and lunch options for employees. The food available is focused on healthy meal choices to suit every diet. From sustainable seafood to humanely-raised meat and eggs, the menus are delicious and nutricious.

Frequently Asked Questions About Corporate Cafeterias

Corporate cafeterias aren’t exactly new. In fact, there’s a New York Times article from 1985 speaking about the benefits and management of company cafeterias. There are still plenty of people who aren’t sure about corporate cafeterias, and you may be nodding your head as you read this. From business owners and employees to prospective cafeteria managers, there’s a lot of information to be shared.

Our answers to the following frequently asked questions will get you started in the right direction to learn about corporate cafeterias. Maybe you’ll decide to find work with a company that has a cafeteria. Maybe you’ll open up your own cafeteria business.

Perhaps you’ll bring cafeterias into your business. Either way, you can start figuring it out here:

What Type of Business Is a Cafeteria? 

A cafeteria is a business following a food service business model. The key difference between a cafeteria and a restaurant is that there is little or no wait staff or table service in a cafeteria. Beyond that difference, a cafeteria business is very similar to a restaurant, bar, or even a brunch café. 

Why Should a Company Have a Cafeteria? 

Companies should have a cafeteria because the presence of cafeterias in an office building or establishment has led to higher productivity. A Cornell study with Professor Kevin Kniffin found that employees who eat together perform better. Additionally, when coworkers are more likely to dine together in a corporate cafeteria, they end up working better together through naturally-built relationships. 

Overall, corporate cafeterias help companies become more productive and have happier employees. Those are two factors that all companies strive for, and a corporate cafeteria is an efficient way to achieve those goals.

What Is Cafeteria Management? 

Cafeteria management is the management of the cafeteria business and functions within the office building or location. The easiest way for a company to start a corporate cafeteria is to hire a management team. 

This can be a long-term catering team or a specific corporate cafeteria management team. Either way, that team is responsible for order management, inventory cycle count work, POS system work, and the overall operational efficiency of the cafeteria.

What Is a Corporate Luncheon? 

A corporate luncheon is typically a catered lunch where a company gets together to eat lunch while discussing various business-related topics. At this point, corporate luncheons and corporate cafeterias are still separate events and entities. There appears to be an opportunity for them to mesh together from time to time in the future.

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Corporate Cafeterias: Calling All Corporations!

Corporate cafeterias have been around for decades. With businesses that focus on their employees and overall balance at the workplace, these communal hospitality industry-related businesses are stepping into the limelight. A corporate cafeteria management plan is the next step in food service, and with the information from this blog, you’re ready to get started.

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