Friday, 7 September 2007

No Michelin Stars for Vodafone Restaurant

When Vodafone’s office facilities around the country were refurbished 3 years ago we were promised that for the first time staff would be able to enjoy a decent meal on campus at a subsidised price that would make this an attractive option everyday of the week.

However in true Vodafone style corners were cut and catering facilities are now one of the most common issues that members raise with their Connect reps.

Typically the “Hot” (slightly warm) offering consists of something reminisant of a McCain’s oven ready meal and will set you back around £5-6 a go. The sandwiches seem to invariably contain grapes or other fruits alongside the expected cold meat, perhaps some people enjoy roast beef with fruit salad but judging by what remains on the shelves at 1.30 it’s not those who eat at the Vodafone canteen!

For a simple sandwich Vodafone’s tariff can set you back up to £4. Where the subsidy goes is hard to ascertain, if we didn’t know that the company loves it’s workers so much it may have been suggested that in fact they’re making a couple of extra quid by taking advantage of a captive audience for the Vodafone dining experience.

When visiting the Newbury Business Park site after loading your paper plate with the meal of the day (The chef knows how to “cook” 5 meals affectionately known as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) you join the long queue.

Those lucky enough to get an hour for lunch are likely to reach the till, but a thought must be spared for those workers from departments where the DTI’s suggested best practice is ignored and only a ½ hour lunch break is allowed.

The seating is inspired by McDonalds to give a quick turnaround of tables. Sit down for more than a few minuets and you’re likely to need a chiropractor. This barely gives enough time to admire the autographed sports shirts on the wall. There’s a shirt autographed by the England cricket team that LOST the Ashes, and pride of place must go to the shirt signed by Newbury’s second division rugby team.

This isn’t the worst eating establishment in the Vodafone portfolio. The current holder of this most coveted prize is Hayes RMC. Here the penthouse canteen provides a balcony with excellent views of the A4, M4, canal, railway and the added bonus of a plane passing around 100 feet overhead ever 2 minuets on the way to Heathrow. Arrive at 12.00 and you’re likely to be greeting by 2 remaining sandwiches, at least one of which will be cheese and grape. Fortunately there’s a Tesco close by….

We want to hear more about the catering facilities at your Vodafone site. Connect In Vodafone is offering a prize (The toy from a McDonald’s happy meal) for the worst dinning experience in Vodafone.


Anonymous said...

I work down at Newbury HQ and while lunch is alright - but DAMNED EXPENSIVE - £3.10 for a prepacked filled roll sandwich?! - there's nowhere to actually crash and relax in peace and quiet to eat, just the "Riverbed Restaurant" that makes the apron at Heathrow sound like a nature reserve!

Anonymous said...

As a field engineer I barely get time for lunch, and even then it's a garage sandwich or fast food job.

Complete nightmare if you're trying to stick to a diet! At least if I worked in an office I could use the fridge...

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