Restaurants to Target Employees with 30-​Minute Lunch Breaks

BY Rachel Cagle
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The lunch "hour" may be a concept of the past, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than half of workers (56%) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less.

This is an opportunity for restaurants and other food-​serving businesses to promote their lunch offerings. Being able to order food online means employees have plenty of time to pick up their food and enjoy it, all without having to wait for service. In fact, most Online Food Orderers (76.2%) have ordered food from a restaurant using the internet within the past month, according to AudienceSCAN. And, within the past six months, 69.4% have used a mobile device to order food for takeout or delivery.

What are workers doing at lunch, besides eating? Respondents said they most frequently surf the internet or social media (52%), followed by catching up on personal calls or emails (51%). That's up from 27% and 25%, respectively, from a 2014 survey. Twenty-​nine percent of professionals confessed to working during lunch.

Workers were asked, "What is the average length (in minutes) of your typical lunch break?" Their responses:

  • 0–10 minutes: 7%
  • 11–20 minutes: 8%
  • 21–30 minutes: 41%
  • 31–40 minutes: 4%
  • 41–50 minutes: 10%
  • 51–60 minutes: 27%
  • More than 60 minutes: 3%

Workers were also asked, "Aside from eating, which of the following activities do you usually engage in during your lunch break?" Their responses:

  • Surf the web/​social media: 52%
  • Catch up on personal calls/​emails: 51%
  • Socialize with coworkers: 47%
  • Run errands: 32%
  • Read: 32%
  • Exercise/​take a walk: 30%
  • Work: 29%

These extra activities can also be included in restaurant advertising to Online Food Orderers. According to AudienceSCAN, Online Food Orderers participate on Facebook (85.7%), YouTube (68.1%), Instagram (50.2%) and Twitter (46.4%). About 33% enjoy reading fiction books or novels and 20.8% enjoy hiking/​walking long distances for health. All of these activities can be incorporated in ads as things the customer could be doing in the time they saved by ordering food online while on their limited work break.

"Even if only 30 minutes or less are available due to workloads or company guidelines, professionals should try to maximize lunch breaks to relax and recharge a bit," said Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam. "These days, people are quick to turn to their mobile devices to pass the time, but it can be a nice change of pace and good for relationship building to eat with colleagues."

Additional findings:

  • Workers ages 18 to 34 (60%) most often surf the web or social media during lunch, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (55%) and 55 and older (34%).  

What are the best way to target these workers with time-​saving food ads? According to AudienceSCAN, they're responsive to digital. Last year, 55.4% took action after receiving an email ad, and they're 28% more likely than other adults to take action after seeing/​receiving mobile app/​text ads. This audience can also be swayed by TV. Last year, 69.4% took action after seeing a TV commercial.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.