By Johnathan L. Wright, Reno Gazette Journal
Note: Rounds Bakery is home to our NCET Biz Bite events.
At its Gigafactory east of Reno, Tesla is remaking an old idea — the company cafeteria — with a new economy spin, helping local food and drink vendors with the cost of setting up shop so they can feed 7,000 employees at the complex that produces batteries and drive units for Tesla’s electric vehicles.
The vendors, in turn, have benefited from increased revenue, expanded hiring and exposure linked to one of the world’s most talked about companies.
“Rather than go with a corporate caterer, we saw this as a good opportunity to bring the local food scene into the building,” said Stephen Widmer, senior culinary project manager at the Gigafactory and a former general manager of Brasserie Saint James in Reno.
“Reno’s food and beverage scene has blasted off — it made sense for us to incorporate that.”
The Gigafactory, nearly 2 million square feet at only 30 percent complete, lies on a rise in the high desert off Interstate 80, with the nearest services clustered down the hill at the freeway exit.
The remote location all but demands on-site dining options for employees (a necessary convenience that also keeps folks close to work).
A single food truck fed the Gigafactory when it opened in July 2016.
Today, the culinary program has grown to encompass 20 trucks (with 12 to 15 on any given day), nine markets run by Rounds Bakery of Reno, an outpost of Roundabout Catering of Sparks, cafés from Sakana Sushi and Bangkok Cuisine of Reno, and a main cafeteria that stretches to 19,000 square feet.
Read the rest of the story at rgj.com.