Apple to open a staff-only eatery to keep secrets safe

Apple plans to open a restaurant reserved solely for employees – to talk openly without worrying about revealing the firm’s inside secrets.

The two-storey building will be located several blocks from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The project has already been approved by the Cupertino Planning Commission.

Apple is famous for jealously guarding information about upcoming products but secrets have spilled out on several occasions.

Besides a place to eat, the building will have an underground garage, lounge areas, meeting rooms and a courtyard.

Apple already runs a restaurant in Cupertino, called Caffe Mac, but it is also open to outside visitors.

The new facility will only be used by Apple staff, who will then be able to freely discuss any current or future projects without worrying about being overheard by competitors, said Dan Whisenhunt, Apple’s director of real estate facilities.

“We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they’re engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations,” he said.

Divulging secrets

Apple has a reputation for being very tight-lipped about future products and rumours about its upcoming products regularly swirl around the web.

The secrecy has led to some mis-steps. In 2010, one Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar in California.

The gadget was sold to technology blog Gizmodo, causing trouble for Apple as it tried to recover the device and prevent the blog from leaking any secrets.

Gizmodo eventually returned the prototype – but only after it published photos and a video of the device on its website.

Two men who sold the prototype to Gizmodo avoided a jail sentence, but got a year of probation and a fine.

Another prototype, this time of the iPhone 4s, was lost at a bar in San Francisco, but it was never found.

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