Consumer Trends

Young workers are skipping lunch more often, a new report finds

ezCater has published its second annual Lunch Report, which reveals that employees, particularly younger workers, are skipping lunch more often, despite the benefits associated with taking a lunch break.
The survey found that workers are 40% more likely to say they never stop for lunch than they were a year ago. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Despite the benefits of blocking out time for a lunch break, diners are apparently skipping lunch more often. That’s according to the latest Lunch Report from online catering marketplace ezCater, which reveals trends in that daypart.

According to the data, which was gathered by surveying 1,000 full-time employees nationwide and 4,000 workers across ten major U.S. cities, workers are 40% more likely to say they never stop for lunch than they were a year ago.

Interestingly, workers also noted numerous benefits to stopping for a lunch break. According to the report, 53% of employees said lunch makes them happier while 50% said lunch makes them less stressed.

In addition, 29% of office employees said they block out time on their calendars for a break, but 62% said they normally can’t use that time for a meal.

Gen Z employees were the most likely to say that lunch is their favorite part of the day, yet they’re also most likely to skip meals. And when they do make the time to eat, they take the shortest breaks.

Meanwhile, millennials spend the most money on lunch, in an effort to save time. The report found that millennials are most likely to pay for lunch at least twice a week, and they spend the most per meal.

The report also found that lunch breaks are associated with improved work, with 78% of employees surveyed saying taking a break improves their job performance. And free lunch is a perk that employees value; 67% of hybrid workers said free lunch would impact their decision to work onsite. Gen Z was the most likely to say that free lunch would influence that decision.

Corporate catering may also have an impact on local restaurants. The research found that 47% of workers have ordered from a restaurant after trying the food through an employer-provided meal. Younger workers are most likely to try out the new eateries during non-work hours.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Technology

Pipedream wants to take restaurant pickup underground

The startup uses robots and tunnels to move food from kitchen to car. It believes it can one day connect entire cities.

Financing

As CosMc's takes off, McDonald's operators want a piece of the action

The Bottom Line: But where that action should take place is the question. Many operators believe the brand should be a testing ground for McDonald's own beverage program.

Financing

Bad weather returns as a restaurant sales problem

The Bottom Line: Snow and cold in January kept customers from visiting restaurants. Here's why this might be a bigger influence in the future.

Trending

More from our partners