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Apple plans to block competitors' prying ears with new off-campus cafeteria

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apple plans to build a new 21,468-square-foot cafeteria near its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters in order to allow employees to speak freely about their business without fearing that competitors are eavesdropping.

The Cupertino Planning Commission unanimously approved the project at a meeting held Tuesday night, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The cafeteria is planned with security in mind, and non-Apple employees will not be welcome there.

"We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they're engineering without fear of competition soft of overhearing their conversations," said Dan Wisenhunt, Apple's director of real estate facilities. "That is a real issue today in Cupertino because we've got other companies here in our same business."

In addition to Apple, a number of other technology companies have offices in Cupertino, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, and Trend Micro.

Apple's new cafeteria will be a two-story building that will serve food to employees who work at Apple's satellite buildings located along Bandley Drive on the west side of N. De Anza Boulevard. The new building will be on the northeast corner of Bandley and Alves drives.

According to the report, it will include a cafe, meeting rooms, lounge areas and courtyard space. The second floor will be intended for cafeteria employees for storage, locker rooms, restrooms and more.

Cupertino
Apple's Cupertino headquarters, via Wikipedia.


The site will also include 70 parking spaces housed in an underground garage. However, most employees are expected to bike, walk or take a shuttle to the cafeteria, which will likely be open only on weekdays, and will see most of its traffic between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The campus is yet another construction project for Apple, which continues to expand as sales of its devices like the iPhone and iPad grow at an exponential rate. Last June, the company publicly revealed plans for a new corporate campus in Cupertino that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs described as a "spaceship."
post #2 of 38

I hope they server ginger snaps

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post #3 of 38

I can't help but chuckle at the thought of Steve micromanaging an absurd menu for this

post #4 of 38

Maybe they can build a bar as well.

post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post
I hope they server ginger snaps

 

Sure, at the snack bar. Alongside frozen yogurt, doughnuts, ice cream sandwiches, and jelly beans, but you'll have to wait a while for that last one.

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #6 of 38

I expect that competitors will plant people as servers and other types of employees.  

 

I thought that Apple people only discussed work in secure environments?  Why is Tim opening things up to the cafeteria for discussions?  

 

Won't some things be overheard, maybe innocently, by employees in other departments?  I alwasy thought that Apple kept everything on a need-to-know basis.

post #7 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjl View Post

Maybe they can build a bar as well.

 

lol!

post #8 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

 

I thought that Apple people only discussed work in secure environments?  Why is Tim opening things up to the cafeteria for discussions?  

 

Won't some things be overheard, maybe innocently, by employees in other departments?  I alwasy thought that Apple kept everything on a need-to-know basis.

 


I'm sure they try to do that, but no organization is perfect. People make mistakes and say things they shouldn't where they shouldn't. This just reduces the risk that the slip up will happen surrounded by other employees, who are less of a threat, than in a random restaurant where your competitor is sitting at the next table over.

 

 

post #9 of 38

If they serve strong beverages and have live music, we're gonna lose any chance of seeing previews of new iPhone hardware.

post #10 of 38

Unfortunately, CONTROL has already patented the "Cone of Silence".  Including the portable version:

 

cone_of_silence2.jpg

post #11 of 38

Well, sounds like a giant Chineese factory, with so many facilities that it is more a city than a factory. 

post #12 of 38

next they'll construct living quarters because "we just don't want our employees mixing with outsiders"    Then Apple will change it's name the FoxConn West!

post #13 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

I expect that competitors will plant people as servers and other types of employees.  

 

I thought that Apple people only discussed work in secure environments?  Why is Tim opening things up to the cafeteria for discussions?  

 

Won't some things be overheard, maybe innocently, by employees in other departments?  I alwasy thought that Apple kept everything on a need-to-know basis.

Clearly, you know very little about corporate sponsored food service operations in Fortune 500 companies including Silicon Valley firms.

 

First of all, Apple already has several other food service facilities of this type. This is not a new concept, so Apple employees have been conducting work-related discussions in secure cafeterias for decades.

 

Most likely, Apple employees already have a pretty good idea of what can be discussed in a hard-wall office, a secure lab, in the company cafeteria, on a sidewalk between buildings, on BART, at a beer garden in Redwood City, etc. Like many other high-tech firms, Apple uses internal code names for projects so minimize information leakage.

 

If one employee starts talking about confidential information in an inappropriate setting, it is likely that he/she would get the death stare from suddenly-silent colleagues. Again, this wouldn't be uniquely Apple behavior. It could easily happened if some Palo Alto startup engineer started blabbing at Reposado, Nola's, Old Pro, Gordon Biersch, whatever.

 

Effective industrial espionage could not be performed by a food service worker otherwise companies would have been doing this for decades. The chances of a given food service worker in a corporate cafeteria hearing useful information would be very low.

post #14 of 38

iPub?!! lol.gif

post #15 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

If they serve strong beverages and have live music, we're gonna lose any chance of seeing previews of new iPhone hardware.

 

I was thinking there would probably be a lost-and-found for iPhone prototypes.

post #16 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mavfan1 View Post

next they'll construct living quarters because "we just don't want our employees mixing with outsiders"    Then Apple will change it's name the FoxConn West!

 

Why not just make a Nazi analogy? 

post #17 of 38

Hmm... what is this? Caffe Macs II? They already have Caffe Macs in the courtyard in the middle of Infinite Loop 1, 2, 3, 4. And you need to get through all the security to eat here (unless you're an invited guest) and you can't pay with cash or CC. Payment is tied to the Apple employee badges. 

 

So how is this news?

post #18 of 38

Dang it, I'm trying to find those drawings from the 1980s or early '90s of that prototype Apple Cafe, but I can't find them ANYWHERE!

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #19 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by endlessct9a View Post

Hmm... what is this? Caffe Macs II? They already have Caffe Macs in the courtyard in the middle of Infinite Loop 1, 2, 3, 4. And you need to get through all the security to eat here (unless you're an invited guest) and you can't pay with cash or CC. Payment is tied to the Apple employee badges. 

 

So how is this news?

 

Because the article specifically mentions that this is for employees who are at the satellite campuses, not 1 Infinite Loop.

post #20 of 38
They can just just make the spaceship campus fly off to mars and back when they are working. The real iDisk not that no good piece of Dropbox envying crapware we had to suffer through as paid subscribers to mobile me....

Now just release them MacBook pros and iMacs already!

(guys can we turn off those annoying huddler "please wait" pop ups. I am not in any particular hurry when I post or edit posts, I can wait alright without a reminder...)
post #21 of 38

I used to love eavesdropping on Apple conversations at the Mandarin Gourmet and the Peppermill. I actually heard them discussing the name CyberDog once!

post #22 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Dang it, I'm trying to find those drawings from the 1980s or early '90s of that prototype Apple Cafe, but I can't find them ANYWHERE!

 

http://dapplecafe.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/red-apple-cafe-placerville

http://www.thebigapplecafe.com/

http://www.applecafebakery.com/

http://bibosportland.com/

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/3/21165/restaurant/Midtown-West/Apple-Cafe-New-York

 

And dozens more.


But I assume that's not what you're referring to. 

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
But I assume that's not what you're referring to. 

 

lol.gif I mean the drawings of the hideous "modern" cafe idea Apple had. It was from before Steve's return, is all I remember. Gaudy neon everywhere, standard juxtaposed fluorescent '80s colors all over… CRT televisions hanging from the ceiling… 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #24 of 38

The saying is "prying eyes". There is no such thing as "prying ears".

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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjl View Post

Maybe they can build a bar as well.

 

lol!


They'll call it "The Sidebar", and like their Mac OS, all items served in this bar will be devoid of color.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabohn View Post
They'll call it "The Sidebar", and like their Mac OS, all items served in this bar will be devoid of color.

 

The bar itself will be made of quartz with this design:

 

Screen Shot 2012-04-26 at 3.38.35 PM.png

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #27 of 38

Huh... I wonder how this will relate to Cafe Macs, which I was under the impression served largely the same purpose.

 

Maybe employees can't bring outside guests to this one? Amusing, given Cafe Macs is behind security, and the title suggests this one will be an independent building.

 

(P.S. This new template is so awkward. It feels incomplete.)

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post #28 of 38

Yes, a bar where iPhone prototypes can be safely left behind.

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post #29 of 38
Interesting that as long you are an Apple employee the restrictions are made to sound light. I would have thought that even among different departments it would all be very hush-hush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjl View Post

Maybe they can build a bar as well.

LOL You win this thread. And only your 2nd post, too.

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post #30 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjl View Post

Maybe they can build a bar as well.

 

And they'll only serve Geniuses.

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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

And they'll only serve Geniuses.

I'd think a bar called The Guinness Bar located in Cupertino would probably do pretty well. Using the Bowen Knot would be a good logo, too. I don't think the Bowen Knot is Irish but it's close enough for Americans.

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post #32 of 38

Ah, okay... still not news to me. The only thing this will do is ease the "congestion" at Caffe Macs. If you get there after 11:30am, it's nearly impossible to find a seat. Woopdie doo. 

post #33 of 38
I have been a user of Apple products since the 1980s, and obviously have high regard for the company and their products, but this business of separating employees in their free lunch time from the outside world seems a bit cultish and over the top. It kind of gives me the creeps to know the company behaves this way toward their employees, regardless of the dubious benefits from securing their technology secrets.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by agaleotti View Post
but this business of separating employees in their free lunch time from the outside world seems a bit cultish and over the top. 

 

Every company does this.

 

Quote:
It kind of gives me the creeps to know the company behaves this way toward their employees, regardless of the dubious benefits from securing their technology secrets.

 

Let's see, Apple was 90 days from bankruptcy when Steve came back and is worth, what, $560 billion now… 

 

So these "dubious benefits" are worth roughly $560 billion dollars. 

 

Or do you not think that intellectual property needs to be protected? Or maybe that it doesn't have worth as just an idea?

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #35 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by agaleotti View Post

I have been a user of Apple products since the 1980s, and obviously have high regard for the company and their products, but this business of separating employees in their free lunch time from the outside world seems a bit cultish and over the top. It kind of gives me the creeps to know the company behaves this way toward their employees, regardless of the dubious benefits from securing their technology secrets.

 

I agree.   When you become so isolated from "ordinary" people, you forget how ordinary people who are not tech freaks live their lives and use products.     And then you begin to make mistakes in product strategy, UI, etc.     It also strikes me as a bit paranoid.      The funny thing is that this strikes me more as something that Steve would have tried to implement.

 

There's nothing wrong with having "another" internal cafeteria, but the reason most companies have "sponsored" cafeterias is to keep people on campus or in the building because they then spend less time on lunch, not because they're paranoid about what they're going to talk about.   What's next?  Making employees eat dinner on campus as well and/or banning them from public restaurants even in their off hours?    Creating on-campus housing and forcing employees who work on new products to live there?    Barbed wire?    Surgically implanting monitoring devices?

 

 

post #36 of 38
I thought that's what "BJ"s restaurant and brewhouse was. Just off one IL....
post #37 of 38

Ridiculous. You guys are living a reality distortion field. Think logically on your own for once.

 

The Mercury News reporter has an imagination and the OPs post is inaccurate.  They are building the new cafeteria because Caffe Macs is too small.  They have cashiers and serving stations on the pathways surrounding caffe macs. It's been getting worse and worse with all the new hires. This new cafeteria is for the overflow coming from the half dozen buildings in the vicinity of Bandley Dr. and Valley Green, not because of espionage. 

 

 

The OP wrote "...non-Apple employees will not be welcome there." Where in the Mercury News article does it say that?

It does say"..Cupertino residents and Apple-loving tourists, however, can forget about dining at the cafeteria. The eatery will be a place for employees to freely talk business without fear of eavesdropping from competitors." But employees can do that already at Caffe Macs. At Caffe Macs you can bring guests. Why wouldn't it be the same for this new cafeteria? But the OP wrongly interpreted it as "no one but employees can eat there."


Edited by Russell - 4/27/12 at 2:51am

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post #38 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

 

 

Why not just make a Nazi analogy? 

 

Somebody just couldn't resist -- Godwin's Law strikes again!

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