PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS: SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, MICROSOFT
In 2006, Microsoft Corp. launched myMicrosoft, an ambitious in-house initiative designed to make the technology giant a better and more satisfying place to work. One key focus of the project was onsite dining, which at the time was a much-criticized part of the Microsoft workplace experience.
Today, Microsoft hosts a model business dining program offering convenient, high-quality, responsive and customer-friendly service that boasts Best Concept Award caliber components in areas ranging from new and renovated facilities to menus, station concepts, convenience retailing, business building promotions and wellness/healthful dining.
It is for the demonstrated excellence in these different areas of execution, combined with the host company's dedication to the value of high-quality onsite dining, that FM's editors have recognized Microsoft Dining as the recipient of its Best of Show award in the 2010 Best Concepts competition.
Microsoft Dining operates at company sites around the world, with Compass Group operating as its major provider. Flagship operations include the headquarters complex in Redmond, WA, a massive small-city-sized campus with a population of more than 50,000. In this sprawling space, Compass operates more than 30 individual café locations on the main grounds, as well as more than a dozen other foodservice outlets in the new West Campus Commons, next to the headquarters complex.
THE BIG IDEA: A key component of Microsoft's dining program is the Local Brands Program, which brings popular local independent restaurant brands in-house to augment the station mix. Local brands are sprinkled around the main Redmond complex, they form the crux of the West Campus dining mix and are a regular feature (often in rotation to avoid menu fatigue) at the smaller regional sites around the country.
At the main campus, the station mix at each café site is optimized to meet the preferences of the nearby customer base, though of course employees are free to patronize any other cafe sites also.
Dining amenities to meet customer needs also include extended hours at select sites (even evenings at some), mini-shop/branded coffee stations with extensive gourmet grab-and-go offerings at each café entrance for extra convenience and hundreds of scattered kitchenettes offering free canned beverages and single-cup gourmet coffee machines.