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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    technotechno Posts: 687member


    I hope they server ginger snaps

  • Reply 2 of 37


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

  • Reply 3 of 37


    Maybe they can build a bar as well.

  • Reply 4 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 37


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 37
    moxommoxom Posts: 325member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by davidjl View Post


    Maybe they can build a bar as well.



     


    lol!

  • Reply 7 of 37
    afrodriafrodri Posts: 190member


     


    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.


     


     

  • Reply 8 of 37
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,438member


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

  • Reply 9 of 37
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member


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


     


    cone_of_silence2.jpg

  • Reply 10 of 37
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


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

  • Reply 11 of 37


    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!

  • Reply 12 of 37
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member


     


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    balubalu Posts: 4member


    iPub?!! image

  • Reply 14 of 37


     


    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.

  • Reply 15 of 37


     


    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? 

  • Reply 16 of 37


    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?

  • Reply 17 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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!

  • Reply 18 of 37
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member


     


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 37
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    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...)
  • Reply 20 of 37


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

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