On a monthly and yearly basis, I eat more meals prepared by the EA Vancouver cafeteria than anywhere else. Per week, I eat five lunches, two or three breakfasts, and the occasional dinner from that one place. You can understand how I have a vested interest in the quality of the meals that come from there.
Last year, studio management decided to remodel the cafeteria, which includes the seating areas, the kitchen, and the serving stations. It took six months and it was costly. Management was really hoping this remodel would greatly enhance the dining experience for employees. A few months after the remodel was done, a survey went out to some employees to gauge the current level of satisfaction regarding the cafeteria. I can only speak personally but the remodel didn’t seem to affect the quality of the meals one way or another. In some cases, we had culinary choices taken away from us. Before the renovations, I thought the meal quality was average and my opinion didn’t change much after all those millions were spent. If I had to guess, other survey responses were either similar or even said the food quality and selection got worse.
Before I continue, it must be noted that for as long as I can remember, EA doesn’t actually staff or run the cafeteria itself. It has always awarded a contract to a commercial food services company to come in and run the cafeteria. The people who make the food and run the cafeteria are technically employees of the food services company and not EA. So while the cafeteria received a whole new physical remodel last year, the company and staff that run the cafeteria remained the same.
It’s my theory that studio management weren’t too pleased about survey responses. Given how much money they spent, employees still didn’t seem happy enough with the cafeteria. Well, unbeknownst to most employees, management took action. It was revealed very recently that a new food services contract was awarded to a different company. When employees return to work in the new year, we’ll see the cafeteria run by new staff and a whole new menu will be available. Some of the changes will be immediate, while others will be phased in over the next few months. Some of the highlights include the return of the food trucks every Wednesday during the summer months. There will be a station dedicated to bacon related food items. We’ll be getting a dedicated pastry chef. Last but not least, Revolver Coffee will be taking over our two coffee bars and serving their unique selections of coffees.
I’m excited to see what’s in store for the new year. I love food, so I can’t wait for some better lunches and other meals!