In Feeding the Hustle, Jesse Dart draws on ethnographic fieldwork to consider the ways in which free food has become ubiquitous and even compulsory within the tech industry. Packed lunches have nearly disappeared as more companies provide free food with the stated objectives of attracting and retaining employees, increasing productivity, and creating a sense of community through commensality. Dart demonstrates how these food programs alter the relationship between employer and employee, support a flexible type of workforce, and reveal a commensality that is both exclusionary and inclusionary.
Jesse Dart is assistant research professor at Arizona State University.
Chapter 1 - On How to do Fieldwork in a Tech Office
Chapter 2 - Getting Started
Chapter 3 - The Path to Free Meals
Chapter 4 - Finance and The Value of Snacks
Chapter 5 - Physical Space
Chapter 6 - Commensality at Work
Chapter 7 - Labor
Chapter 8 - Conclusion and the Limits of Care
Feeding the Hustle's exploration of food perks in tech companies reveals the ongoing tension in many industries between making the workplace feel more like home and keeping the employees at their occupation for longer hours. This timely book asks whether free meals at the office are a gift, a recruitment tool, or just a strategy to stimulate greater collaboration and productivity.