The fringe benefits of being a Washington Post reporter are starting to disappear. First, citing an “urgent need to reduce costs,” the paper ditched tuition reimbursement. Next up for cuts, according to a memo sent out today: the company cafeteria.

Chief Financial Officer Usha Chaudhary writes in the memo that, starting in March, the Post‘s cafeteria will transition from “full-service cafeteria” to “market style.”

What’s that mean? Judging from Chaudhary’s memo, Post employees can expect a lot more salads and “pre-made sandwiches.” Outside restaurants will now handle meeting catering.

Unlike the old cafeteria, the new food market will be open 24 hours a day, which seems like a great benefit until you realize it’s easy to be open 24 hours when no one’s actually cooking. Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti declined to comment on the memo.

Chaudhary’s full memo:


I wanted to announce to all Post employees that, effective March 9, 2013, we are planning to change food-service vendors in both the NW building and the Springfield plant. We plan to move away from a full-service cafeteria with fixed hours, towards an on-site “market style” food service operation that will be open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

This “market style” arrangement will provide employees with access to an array of higher-end vending options, fresh meal choices, pre-made sandwiches, salads, beverages and other selections. We believe this arrangement will continue our ability to provide high-quality food options, and to do so for all Post employees. This food will be available for purchase at any time day or night, so everyone will be able to take advantage of these food options, no matter their work schedules. We will provide more specific information about this over the next few weeks.

For catering services, we are in the process of working with area restaurants and cafes to develop “preferred” partnerships to assist with meetings that require catering. Additional information will be forthcoming about this as well.

If you have any questions about these plans, please direct them to Jeff Cox (NW) at x44017 or Roddy MacPherson (SPR) at x 62470.