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Google Closes Its Soup Kitchen

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Tough times put an end to free meals.

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The end of the world is nigh: Google (GOOG) plans to end its free dinners for employees.

But workers at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California won't be forced to forage in dumpsters behind restaurants and supermarkets: The company will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch, ValleyWag reports.

Google has long depicted the free grub as being part of its commitment to community and valuing its employees. In 2004, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote:

"We provide many unusual benefits for our employees, including meals free of charge. We are careful to consider the long-term advantages to the company of these benefits. Expect us to add benefits rather than pare then down over time. We believe it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish with respect to benefits that can save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity."

Cutting off the free dinners is expected to be announced Monday.

Some workers started bringing their families to the company cafeteria for dinner, and things apparently just got out of hand.

Worse, Google handed off cafeteria operations to an outside company, which immediately created problems. For one, the question of whether kitchen staff could use Google's foosball tables. (Oh, the humanity! Damn yuppies.) Star chefs left in a huff; many minions followed.

The departures left Google's kitchen understaffed as it sought to extend meal service to an office complex the company acquired last year.
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