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The Eurest Lunchtime Report 2004

The Eurest Lunchtime Report 2004

How long is the average lunch?

The average British worker's lunch break is 27 minutes, the same as it was two years ago. In Ireland, the lunch break is slightly longer at 33 minutes.

More than half of British workers take a lunch break every day (57%) and 20% don't take one at all. In Ireland, 85% of workers take a lunch break every day.

The length of the average working lunch

No lunch Under 10 mins 10-20 mins 20-30 mins 30-40 mins 40-50 mins 50-60 mins Between 1-2 hours Don't know
London19%-11%22%14%8%23%2%2%
The East14%2%20%27%11%6%17%1%2%
The South and the South-east23%1%8%29%10%4%17%3%4%
Wales, the West and the South-west18%-5%41%17%1%14%2%1%
The Midlands17%4%13%35%6%4%18%2%1%
The North-west20%1%6%34%15%4%19%-1%
The North-east18%2%8%39%18%4%9%2%-
Yorkshire24%2%16%23%9%6%15%3%2%
Scotland16%2%7%38%19%2%16%--
Northern Ireland6%4%12%34%13%11%17%2%1%
Republic of Ireland3%2%9%30%20%8%25%1%1%

Source: The Eurest Lunchtime Report 2004

Where do workers go for lunch?

Roughly one person in five in the UK (18%) buys their lunch from a staff restaurant. This option is most popular with 25- to 34-year-olds nearly a quarter of them (24%) go to a staff restaurant, compared with only 10% of people over 55.

More than one person in three (38%) brings a packed lunch. This is favoured by the over 55s (45%) and married people (41%).

Likewise in Ireland, one person in five (21%) visits the staff restaurant. In the Republic of Ireland buying from a local sandwich shop is a popular option (22%).

Half of Northern Irish men prefer a packed lunch (52%), compared with 40% of women. More than two-thirds (68%) of workers over the age of 55 choose a packed lunch. In the Republic of Ireland, only one person in four (26%) brings a packed lunch.

Places where workers buy lunch

Staff restaurant Sandwich shop Supermarket Pub, wine bar or restaurant Fast-food takeaway Packed lunch London21%12%7%3%2%32%The East19%8%4%2%1%45%The South and the South-east19%7%5%3%-36%Wales, the West and the South-west15%9%7%-2%47%The Midlands15%16%4%1%1%50%The North-west14%21%5%2%1%36%The North-east17%12%12%-2%42%Yorkshire12%15%6%1%-45%Scotland30%14%2%-3%35%Northern Ireland24%14%2%1%4%47%Republic of Ireland19%22%9%6%2%26%Source: The Eurest ](http://www.compass-group.com)Lunchtime Report 2004 ### How much is spent? The average UK worker spends £2.02 on lunch, up slightly from £1.95 two years ago. Women are more economical, with nearly a third spending less than £1. The Irish spend more on their lunch, averaging €4 (£2.60) in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland the average is £2.21. Daily average spend on lunch
Less than £1 £1-£1.99 £2-£2.99 £3-£3.99 £4-£4.99 £5-£5.99 £6 or more Don't know Average spend
London19%13%16%11%8%4%3%25%£2.49
The East27%27%20%9%3%--15%£1.72
The South and the South-east25%13%16%11%3%2%1%30%£1.96
Wales, the West and South-west17%30%24%2%2%-4%22%£1.88
The Midlands22%28%24%6%3%3%-15%£1.92
The North-west23%29%22%6%2%1%1%16%£1.83
The North-east18%39%16%9%2%1%-15%£1.81
Yorkshire24%31%18%5%4%3%-15%£1.83
Scotland21%29%21%4%11%2%-11%£2.06
Northern Ireland14%30%26%13%5%3%-9%£2.21
Less than €1€1-€1.99€2-2.99€3-€3.99€4-€4.99€5-€.99€6 or moreDon't knowAverage spend
Republic of Ireland9%7%11%16%12%16%16%14%€4 (£2.60)
Note: The Sterling to Euro conversion rate used was £1 = €1.54 Source: The [Eurest ](http://www.compass-group.com)Lunchtime Report 2004 ### What do workers eat? In the UK (excluding Northern Ireland one person in two prefers a sandwich for lunch (54% of men and 50% of women). But this figure has dropped from 65% two years ago. Healthy options are more popular with women and older people. Top 10 food choices at lunchtime (UK, excluding Northern Ireland)
20042002
Sandwiches/bread products52%65%
Fruit41%35%
Salad33%30%
Yoghurt25%23%
Jacket potato20%22%
Soup18%14%
Pastry snack (pies/pasties)12%14%
Fish and chips11%12%
Bacon and eggs (all-day breakfast)9%10%
Burgers9%8%
Source: The [Eurest
Lunchtime Report 2004
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