Attempt To Ban Office Cafeterias Fails In San Francisco

Jenna Lane
October 26, 2018 - 9:49 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco's Planning Commission rejected an outright ban on new office cafeterias, and recommended that city supervisors come up with an alternative if they want to help restaurants that say they're struggling. 

Statements from unionized workers in those corporate kitchens appeared to have an impact on the commissioners.

"We have stable hours, we don't work weekends, and we get all the holidays off, paid," said Dante Ballard, a senior supervisor in an office cafeteria and organizer with the UAW union, on Thursday. "None of this happens at a restaurant."

City Supervisor Ahsha Safai had argued for the ban, saying office workers in tech companies and other businesses patronizing restaurants and shops is essential for a vibrant city. 

"Keeping thousands of employees inside in an internal environment is an appropriate model, maybe, in an isolated office park," said Safai. "When you're bringing a business model from Silicon Valley to the city, you have to adjust that model."

The commission asked supervisors to look at alternatives to a ban, such as opening private cafeterias to the public.