Feeding Facebook and keeping it social

by Mark Broadbent

Mark Broadbent has enjoyed a food-obsessed career spanning three decades. He’s cooked in Five star Hotels, Two star Michelin restaurants, Gastro Pubs and Member’s Clubs, delivering unforgettable cuisine or acting as a consultant. London’s Bluebird was just one of his success stories. Under his creative direction, the restaurant achieved huge critical acclaim and was especially loved by AA Gill.

We’ve been feeding the good people at Facebook London for over a year now, heading up the operation of their in-house kitchen and restaurant. It’s a wonderful space. Located on one of the upper floors in the building of the company’s London offices, the views are outstanding. While the restaurant is bright and modern.

Set up starts early. 5.30am if you’re asking. My kitchen team get busy prepping for the expected 800 staff and visitors who stop by for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My team of waiting staff arrive shortly after and breakfast service begins. Which some employees swear is the best breakfast in London and regularly tell us on our in-house restaurant Facebook page. (A Facebook page set up for a Facebook in-house restaurant, within Facebook HQ for Facebook staff. I like the synergy of it.)

Facebook is a global company with a global workforce and my changing weekly menus reflect that diversity. I like to keep things fresh, seasonal, nutritious and filling. Like any restaurant, we cater for a glut of different tastes and dietary requirements. And that means labelling every single dish that leaves the kitchen, so that when people are helping themselves from the buffet counters they know what they’re getting. Then there’s the cultural aspect. My team and I keep an eye on events taking place all over the world so that we can create dishes that respect Diwali, Hannukah and Eid.

Lunchtime is the busiest service. One minute the space is calm, the next it’s bursting with the bustle and chatter of hundreds of staff and visitors. My waiting staff crank it up a notch, bussing tables and generally being on hand to ensure service is tip top. The kitchen is live with sound of fresh foods being chopped, sliced, baked, griddled, fried, flambéed… You name it, we’re doing it.

If an evening event is taking place (and many do) we’re on hand to deliver the deliciousness. From canapés to sit down dinners, menus are developed and dished up for staff and guests. Some events are formal, some are relaxed. Without giving too much away, we hosted one recently that had an Elvis theme. All rather rock and roll.

There’s loads to blog about when it comes to Facebook. But I’ll save more for next time. Have you been? I expect some of you reading this will have. I’d love to know what you think.

Keep it delicious


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