Building Operating Management

Cafeteria Spaces Growing As Office Areas Shrink



With employees returning to work, foodservice areas provide a setting for socializing, collaboration and meetings


By BOM Editorial Staff   Design & Construction

food service

As companies start to think about what it will be like to return to more frequent in-person work, the lessons of a year of remote productivity have many rethinking priorities and considering reducing the office footprint. However, as areas devoted to workstations shrink, cafeterias and pantry amenities might actually expand in size.

With companies increasingly adopting hybrid remote/in-person workforce models, cafeterias represent a potent use of square footage. The cafeteria at Fresenius Medical Care in Lexington, Massachusetts, designed by Dyer Brown, provides the perfect setting for socializing and informal collaboration, as well as meetings and presentations.

Good for eating or meeting

Equipped with WiFi, the foodservice area can become a fully-functioning space for heads-down tasks, meetings, and even presentations. The variety of table heights and furniture types means the space suits a variety of working and collaboration styles. Darrin Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown

A view that isn’t your house

Among the incentives to return to in-person work are the opportunity to break bread with colleagues and a change of scenery from the home office. This glass storefront system opens up into an existing courtyard while adding to the floor space of the café and seating areas. A custom high-top counter with metal supports and integrated power allows employees to work while also enjoying the view and natural daylight. Darrin Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown

Privacy pocket

Booth seating situated under vertical slats and between column enclosures provide a feeling of privacy for employees working on sensitive material or needing to work uninterrupted. LVT flooring matching the booth’s upholstery brings the pop of color into the traffic lane. Darrin Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown

Today’s special

Menus need to be appealing with healthy and diverse options. The design of the cafeteria offers employees a glimpse of the kitchen through a framed opening concept, and overhead digital screens can be updated to reflect daily offerings. Darrin Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown

Easy to grab and go

Design of a cafeteria needs to support the foodservice operators, as well as the employees. Here a centralized soup-and-salad bar and an adjacent coffee service area provide ease of use and wide circulation paths. The checkout station with integrated snack shelving is situated at the main exit of the space as point of sale. Darrin Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown




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  posted on 5/14/2021   Article Use Policy




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