I'm interviewing at a company that has catered lunch (not a large free cafeteria, like Facebook has) every day. I don't have an offer yet, but I want to plan ahead. I'm going in for a final interview next week, which will be my first visit to the company's office. Catered lunch is, I gather, pretty common in the software industry. My recruiter pitched it pretty heavily as a perk, but personally I view it as a bit of an anti-perk, if forced:
- I follow a somewhat restrictive diet, which tends eliminate many of the primary choices offered when catering happens. It's not exactly vegetarian, but let's go with that. In general, that's fine, my diet is my choice, no hard feelings if there's nothing for me, but while I'm sure they have a "vegetarian option", it probably won't match up with my macronutrient goals (mainly, protein). I've also found that going for "vegetarian options" tend to lead to a bit of othering.
- I'm not sure that I'm morally comfortable with the company's management having direct influence on my diet.
- I moved to one of the best cities for food in the world, and I want to get out and eat things!
- I'm single, I like cooking with fresh ingredients, and I need to eat my leftovers to avoid (what I consider) immoral food waste. This also lets me control my macros well.
- Sometimes I want to meet up with friends for lunch.
Anyways, I think that it's not really important why I might want to opt out. That's just to answer any questions people might have about my reasoning.
Now, none of these are an issue if I can just opt out some or most days. Maybe I'll bring something from home, or maybe I'll want to head out to a restaurant or lunch shop. But - I'm wondering, will this harm me at the company, and how can I determine that during the interview, as I'd imagine this might vary a bit between companies?