updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
New building meant to reduce eavesdropping
During a Tuesday meeting, the Cupertino Planning Commission approved an Apple request to build a new off-campus cafeteria, Mercury News reports. The facility should measure 21,468 square feet, and will be located on the corner of Alves and Bandley, just a short walk or bicycle ride from the campus at 1 Infinite Loop. Apple's director of real estate facilities, Dan Whisenhunt, explained during the meeting that the cafeteria will allow Apple workers to eat and talk without being overheard by competitors.
"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 sort of overhearing their conversations," he said. "That is a real issue today in Cupertino because we've got other companies here in our same business."
Unlike Caffe Macs, a restaurant on Apple's campus, the new cafeteria will be exclusively for Apple workers. Visitors are allowed at Caffe Macs so long as an Apple staffer signs them in; the company may be worried, however, that people from rival technology firms will overhear talk about unreleased products. Extreme measures are sometimes taken to prevent knowledge of these products from slipping out.
The new cafeteria will have cafe, meeting, lounge, and courtyard areas, and a second floor reserved entirely for the building's staff. Despite its proximity to 1 Infinite Loop, 70 parking spaces will be provided; Apple estimates that the cafeteria will see up to 228 passenger trips per hour during the lunchtime rush, but says it is prepared to facilitate twice that amount if need be.