BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite the surge in trends like "bare minimum Mondays" and the "four-day work week,” more people are working through lunch, according to new data released today from ezCater, the most trusted provider of corporate food solutions. The company’s second annual Lunch Report found that workers are 40% more likely to say they never take a lunch break than they were just a year ago. But while workers are taking fewer lunch breaks, the positive impact of a lunch break has increased: 48% of respondents say they are less burnt out when they have a lunch break, a 26% increase year over year.
"Our data shows that lunch breaks improve job performance and reduce burnout," said Diane Swint, Chief Revenue Officer at ezCater. “It's in employers' best interest to encourage their employees to take a lunch break, and what better way to do that than by making the food appear? When you look at the cost of employee turnover and the cost to fund lunch everyday, the ROI is clear."
This year’s report features insights from 5,000 full-time employees across the U.S. about their lunchtime habits. It also explores national trends, plus generational and regional differences, from who isn't breaking to eat to what they’re doing with their time instead.
Top findings from ezCater’s 2023 Lunch Report include:
- The lunch crunch is real: Nearly half of workers surveyed (48%) skip lunch at least once a week. While 29% of office workers protect their lunch break by blocking time on their calendar for it, 62% use that time for another purpose.
- The lunch crunch is strongest for Gen Z: Gen Z respondents are most likely to neglect meals at work, with 70% saying they skip lunch once a week. They’re also twice as likely to worry that their bosses will judge them for taking a lunch break. Despite skipping lunch the most, Gen Z respondents are the most likely to view free food as an onsite motivator, with 83% saying that free lunch would impact their decision to work onsite.
- Workers say it's not okay to "meet and eat" on camera: 1 in 5 workers surveyed feel that they have too many meetings to take a lunch break, which may contribute to the trend of "meeting and eating" on video calls. Despite workers feeling that eating on an external (83%) or internal (74%) video call is bad etiquette, 3 in 10 workers do it anyway.
- Lunch habits vary regionally: Workers in Washington, DC are 21% more likely to skip lunch at least once per week compared to the national average. New Yorkers are 36% less likely to be able to use their blocked lunchtime for an actual break. Workers in Atlanta are 13% more likely to concoct a "makeshift meal" – making lunch out of random snacks they can find in the office.
- Lunch breaks benefit both workers and employers: Unchanged from last year, most workers surveyed (78%) state that taking a lunch break improves their job performance, with over half (53%) saying they have more mental clarity when they stop for lunch. In addition to increased productivity, 67% of hybrid workers say free lunch would impact their decision to work onsite.
These are the results of an online survey conducted from August 2023 of 5,000 respondents who are full-time workers who work in either a business office (full-time or hybrid), retail/grocery/warehouse setting, in hospitality, or a healthcare setting. Broken down, there were 1,000 respondents representing the national numbers and then 400 additional respondents each for the following DMAs: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Washington/Hagerstown, Boston/Manchester, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose.
ezCater is the most trusted provider of corporate food solutions. With over 100,000 restaurants across the US on its platform, ezCater provides flexible and scalable food solutions for everything from recurring employee meals to one-off events such as sales calls and board meetings. ezCater is purpose-built for food for work and supported by best-in-class customer service, enabling companies to centralize and manage their food spend in a single, customizable platform. To explore corporate food solutions or place a catering order, visit www.ezcater.com.