Christie Smith

Planning Commission Hears Complaints Over Corporate Cafeterias in San Francisco

The San Francisco Planning Commission on Thursday recommended against an outright ban on new corporate cafeterias after hearing concerns from companies and workers.

Commissioners did support exploring other options that still support small business.

The planning commission listened as people spoke for more than an hour. It did not want a ban, but did want to strike a balance.

Chef Tim Eelman said restaurants that serve lunch in the area have struggled.

At the Perrenial, where he works, the restaurant does not serve lunch, something that helps the business' bottom line.

"I think in a perfect scenario it would be healthier to not have these in certain areas of the city," Supervisor Asha Safai said.

Safai introduced an ordinance banning employee cafeterias in future office space to help boost the local economy.

"We are authorizing in our central SoMa plan 6 million more square feet of office space," Safai said.

At a hearing Thursday, representatives of tech companies and businesses spoke along with cafeteria workers concerned about their jobs and unionizing.

There are more planned discussions on the issue before it heads to the full Board of Supervisors.

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