Elon Musk says Twitter's free lunch costs the company $400 per meal because hardly anyone comes into the office
Elon Musk said Sunday that free lunches for employees at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters cost more than $400 a meal because "almost no one" is in the office. According to records, the office's average occupancy rate over the past 12 months has been less than 10 percent, peaking at just 25 percent.
Musk tweeted Sunday after the New York Times reported that Twitter employees will have to pay for office lunches themselves. He said the criticism of the move was "particularly bizarre considering almost no one comes into the office." He also added, "There are more people preparing breakfast than eating it. They don't even bother to serve dinner because nobody is in the building."
According to Musk, Twitter spends $13 million a year on employee meals at its San Francisco headquarters.
However, Musk's $400-per-meal meal cost estimate has now been challenged by Tracy Hawkins, a former Twitter contributor. According to Hawkins' LinkedIn profile, she was vice president of real estate and work transformation at Twitter, with a focus on hybrid work.
Hawkins said of Musk's estimate, "That's a lie. I ran this program until a week ago when I quit because I didn't want to work for @elonmusk anymore." This has allowed staff to work during lunch breaks and meetings. In addition, attendance in the offices was between 20 and 50 percent.
Musk, in turn, said Hawkins' numbers were "wrong." The reason for the discrepancy may be that Hawkins was referring to being in multiple offices, while Musk was specifically talking about being in Twitter's San Francisco headquarters. Twitter has not yet responded to Business Insider's request.
In his first address to Twitter employees after taking control of the company, Musk told employees to adjust to an 80-hour workweek and fewer perks -- like free office lunches -- according to Bloomberg . In an interview ahead of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Musk said he works "morning till night, seven days a week," adding, "The extent to which I torment myself is next level."
Twitter ended working from home shortly after Musk took over the helm of the company. Last week, Musk emailed employees at 2:39 a.m., urging them to return to the office or "accept resignation." That came after 50 percent of Twitter's 7,500 employees were fired after Musk took office.