(PresidentialHill.com)- Twitter was providing free lunches for staff for quite some time, a move that new owner Elon Musk said cost the company in excess of $400 for each meal, simply because “almost no one” showed up in the company’s office.
This all came to light after The New York Times reported recently that employees at Twitter would be forced to pay for their own office lunches out of their pockets, rather than having the company cover the cost for them.
Naturally, Musk tweeted in response to that criticism, saying it’s “especially bizarre given that almost no one came into the office … There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast. They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”
Musk said that records for badge-ins so that the average occupancy at the Twitter office for the last year was actually below 10%. The “high-water mark” for office attendance was only 25%, the Twitter CEO said.
In addition, Musk added that on an annual basis, Twitter spends as much as $13 million to provide food for its employees at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
One former employee of the company, Tracy Hawkins, challenged Musk’s assessment that the meals cost $400 a piece. Hawkins, who once served as a vice president for real estate and work transformation at the company, had a focus on the hybrid work environment at Twitter.
She tweeted about Musk’s meal cost estimate:
“This is a lie. I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn’t want to work for @elonmusk. For breakfast & lunch we spent $20-$25 a day per person. This enabled employees to work thru lunchtime & mtgs. Attendance was anything from 20-50% in the offices.”
Musk quickly replied that Hawkins’ statements were “false.”
Business Insider reported that the big discrepancies in the two people’s statements could have been because Hawkins was referring to employee “attendance” at multiple offices. Musk, meanwhile, was only commenting on the occupancy rate at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Musk recently made his first address to employees of Twitter, saying that staff should expect to work 80 hours a week while also enjoying fewer perks than they did in the past, which includes no more free meals at the office.
While he was interviewed at the G-20 summit held in Indonesia last week, Musk said he, too, was working from “morning to night, seven days a week … The amount that I torture myself is next level.”
Musk clearly didn’t agree with many of Twitter’s former policies. In addition to ending free meals at the office, he said remote working was no longer allowed. He emailed all staff members at 2:39 in the morning last week, according to Business Insider, telling them that they had to return back to the office of “resignation accepted.”
That all came after Musk laid off about half of the company’s 7,500 employees in a major cost-cutting measure.