Trend: Faced with longer workdays and more to accomplish, nearly half (48%) of Today’s Consumers frequently eat lunch while working at their desks. But over half (53%) aren’t happy about it and increasingly realize the importance of tending to their well-being – 73% say they need to find ways of reducing stress. Even more (80%) believe that those who don’t take time out for themselves end up taking it out on others.
Opportunity: Restaurants are in a great position to help overworked consumers refuel, refresh, and recharge by making the often-neglected lunch hour (or half hour) more approachable. Allow nearby workers to reserve and pre-order lunch online from their computers or PDAs before arriving at the restaurant. For those who want to take a real break, consider upping the leisure component of lunch dining – tune TVs to entertainment channels, offer leisure-oriented magazines and lots of bar/communal seating for socializing. Sometimes lunch outside the workplace can be too far, so offer delivery to nearby offices – also with electronic ordering/payment options. Team up with businesses to provide midday perks for employees with delivered lunches or food for mini-breaks.
Caution: Whether on or off premise, time at lunch is of the essence. Streamline menus and operations to maximize quality “me” time for guests and reduce stress – for the restaurant too.