Today as I dug into my plate of piping hot chicken biryani and let the rich aroma of multiple spices fill my nostrils, I realized one thing. It’s true, many authors have written volumes on the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) but then they haven’t worked at Mindfire Solutions. I am sure they haven’t coz if they had then they would have known that lunch is actually FREE at Mindfire Solutions!
First of all let’s know a bit about the concept of free lunch. This term is quite popular in economics textbook and finds its origin in the saloons of United States where it was a tradition to provide free lunch to customers who bought at least one drink. Most of the times the food was high in salt which compelled the buyer to buy more drinks later on. Hence the term TANSTAAFL has economic implications in the sense that even if it appears free there is a hidden cost to the person or the society.
A you read further you will realize that for the free lunch served at all the three centers of Mindfire Solutions (viz. Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Bangalore), it only wishes for employee satisfaction in return. A brilliant idea to perk up employee enthusiasm, free lunch is an initiative to let them do their thing (i.e. custom software development) without having to bother what’s for cook for lunch that day. Mindfire Solutions has a diverse population of software professionals who hail from different parts of India. And we all know that neither cooking is everyone’s cup of tea or searching for eat-outs in the middle of the day, every day, is a good idea to many. So to ensure a hassle free life and in turn better attention towards work (that’s always there!), Mindfire Solutions offers all its employees the option to sign up for the free lunch program.
The next thought that comes into mind is that, if it is free then the food may not be of great quality. Well let me assure you (trust me, I m extremely fussy about my food) that the food is of decent quality and tastes good as well. The caterers are strictly chosen, tried and tested so that any lapses can be forestalled. Caterers are dismissed almost immediately if there are any issues found with regards to taste or quality. Also the spread of items is not the same everyday and is changed regularly to bring in more variety to everyday food.
What started as a mad rush for food initially (because people found it hard to believe it is true) has tempered down a lot since the past couple of weeks. People are more organized now and there is hardly any ruckus in the cafeteria. However there are some rules that Mindfire lays down as well. The first and foremost rule is that wastage of food is a criminal offence that has to be avoided at all costs. Also as long as one eats at the cafeteria, one gets food for free. But when people sign up and do not inform that they will not be eating on a particular day within a specified deadline leading to food getting wasted, well, in that case they will have to pay. The free lunch is not included in any one’s individual CTC as it is an organizational initiative. Also if someone chooses not to avail the free lunch facility, it is not reimbursed either monetarily or through Sodexo coupons. So it is a case of “either you have it or you don’t” coz food is a matter of personal preferences.
Most employees I have interacted with have praised this initiative by Mindfire Solutions and thank the organization and its CEO to have released them from the drudgery of cooking lunch/finding a place for lunch every day! Gestures such as these are a reassurance and certainly leave an impression on the hearts of the employees. Isn’t it?