Mohamed Badri cooked professionally and worked at the Tuck Shop, located within the Dropbox company, in early 2019. By all accounts, working in what was known as the best coffee shops in the Silicon Valley region was a dream. Badri prepared dishes such as ahi tuna soaked in watermelon spiced water and pickled vegetables, kofta with bread and watercress salad, and he never had to cook the same dish twice.
Badri was not an employee of “Dropbox”, as he was appointed to the position by an outside contractor. However, working in the kitchen of one of the biggest technology companies gave him a competitive wage and provided him with a kind of stability compared to his previous jobs in restaurants, but everything changed last March, when Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, wrote in a tweet via Twitter. The company will ask its employees to work remotely for two weeks to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Dropbox continued to pay Badri until late April. Badri remains in his house since that day.
Over the past decade, lavish cafes have become a hallmark of the tech office culture, just like the hats with corporate logos and the lax policies of these modern companies like allowing an employee to bring his dog with him to work. Tech companies have hired thousands of workers from some of the best restaurants in the Gulf of California to work in their kitchens, supplying them with ample local products to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for employees.
Free meals have become such a staple of tech offices that the city of San Francisco has considered banning or restricting new employee cafes because some officials are concerned that these cafes that offer in-office dining options will harm local restaurants. At the same time, however, the boom in corporate restaurants has created a new category of jobs that have provided more stability than typical restaurant jobs with salaries of more than 20%.
During the first days of the pandemic, many companies pledged to continue paying the salaries of workers in these restaurants and cafes affiliated with them, but technology companies’ adoption of remote work has increased, which has become a permanent phenomenon.
While Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., in addition to some other companies, continued to pay the salaries of hourly wage workers, including coffee shop employees. And a report published by the Silicon Valley Rising Working Group in November 2020 found that tech companies in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, the two counties that cover a large part of Silicon Valley – but not San Francisco – still employ 14,000 union workers in their cafes and services. Guarding and security. The group estimates that 70% of workers at these facilities are black or Latino.
Many food service workers, both contractors, and direct employees lost their jobs. Some, like Badry, have left the entire Bay of California. With no income to cover the rent, Badri recently moved his family to his parents’ house in the suburbs of Paris, where he grew up and is now looking for a job. He says he would not have left, at least not now, had it not been that he had lost his job at Dropbox.
Meals home delivery
Companies such as Uber Technologies and DoorDash have created or expanded programs that allow employers to distribute meal credits to their employees. Farms that previously supplied produce to corporate kitchens have turned to home delivery services for vegetables, to make up for lost revenue.
Vincent Attali, who was an executive pastry chef at LinkedIn, opened a makeshift French pastry store in San Francisco after raising some money on the Kickstarter platform. He says that many of those who supported him financially were company employees. Attali also sells boxes containing various types of sweets and pastries, by paying a financial subscription, in an attempt to enter the world of popular food delivery.
Martin Nguyen, a former chef at LinkedIn, founded a catering company called Craving Foods. He says starting a business during a pandemic is difficult. Nguyen sold about 24 full Thanksgiving meals, but weekly orders have dropped nearly 50% since it opened this summer. “It is very difficult to penetrate this path, as people are not coming back together,” he says.