San Francisco looks to ban “free” lunch at tech companies (Because employees aren’t eating at restaurants that are suffering with artificially high minimum wages)


First, there is no way we could post this article without reminding our readers of one of the few absolutely true bits of economic wisdom there is in this world.

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Now, with that out of the way.

San Francisco has lots to like. Seriously, it is one of my favorite cities. It’s not one to which I’d take the kids to on vacation, but the fog and the weirdness and the tech culture and lots of other things make it a very interesting place. The art galleries are world class.

But the politics in San Fransisco are nuts. For instance, the city is represented in Washington DC by Nancy Pelosi. She’s been doing her thing for 3 decades. And that’s just for starters. Pelosi is practically a conservative relative to some of the folks on the peninsula.

Even ole’ Nancy probably wouldn’t support banning “free” lunch at work to force people to eat in restaurants that are suffering because of stupid minimum wage regulations. Actually, I take that back. She might.

Regardless, such an idea is one of the dumbest things to come out of San Fransisco in the past 3 months. (There is always a steady stream of dumb ideas that comes out of San Fransisco.)

Plus, in addition to being STUPID, this new regulation would be totally crony (whether intended or not) because it would only apply to NEW companies. Google, Facebook, Levis etc could still have “free” lunches. In San Fransisco this is a huge deal for potential new hires. Go to work for some little startup that is legally restricted from feeding you, or go work for one of the old established companies that does provide “free” lunch.

In a city where $150/000 a year is barely middle class, for one person, this matters a lot.

(From CBS)

Lavish free lunches are the stuff of Silicon Valley legend, and a treasured perk in the roster of on-campus benefits that tech companies use to lure workers. But two San Francisco legislators are looking to do away with the practice, saying it hurts local businesses who can’t compete, reports CBS San Francisco.

“We see thousands of employees in a block radius that don’t go out to lunch and don’t go out in support of restaurants every day,” said  Ryan Corridor, owner of Corridor, a restaurant blocks from San Francisco’s city hall. “It’s because they don’t have to.”…

If passed, this new law would only apply to new companies, not existing companies in the city like Google, Twitter and Levi Strauss & Co. There are currently 51 such employee cafeterias in San Francisco.

Click here for the article.