Headed off to college, alone for the first time and able to eat pretty much anything they please, anytime they want, students often gain a bit of weight.
The “Freshman 15” is a bit of indulgence many of us remember fondly, if not a bit self-consciously.
To that end, and to rekindle some of the youthful abandon and excitement of arriving somewhere great — like college — for the first time in years, Facebook offers an array of goods and services to its employees many of us would find equally inviting. When Business Insider visited Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., campus in early March, we saw perks that make the standard office-kitchen coffee bar look feeble.
When a coffee shop opened to the right of this path (below), people cut across the grass to get there. To solve the problem Facebook installed a yellow-brick road from one walkway to the other, complete with Dorothy’s house.
Facebook’s Hacker Square, the center of its campus, feels like a city center. A replica of downtown Palo Alto unfolds on every side. Across from a styling salon is a homemade ice cream shop, adjacent to the Mexican restaurant, the sushi joint, and an open pit BBQ outside one of the gourmet cafeterias. Burgers are just one option for lunch:
There is a transportation hub on one corner of the square offering bicycles so workers can span the sprawl of campus, but no amount of pedaling can burn off the calories offered here.
Aside from a couple of locally owned restaurants Facebook wanted on campus from Palo Alto, all of the meals, desserts, drinks — whatever strikes your fancy — are free of charge. It’s one thing to know this going in, but it’s something else to see it. Harvest is the place to go for healthy options:
Groups of people cluster together laughing, working, laughing and even skipping. And it smells good. Food odours came across in various clouds as Jackie Rooney, a spokeswoman for Facebook, gave us the nickel tour.
In the thick of people breaking for lunch, we mention it’s hard to imagine which restaurant we’d pick first and Rooney laughs.
“Yeah,” she says throwing up her hands in mock quotation marks. “The ‘Facebook 15’ is a real thing.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.