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The European Workforce’s Lunch Break


Budget, setting, regularity, time, meals, attitudes and routines … each European country has its own original approach to the daily lunch break !

CHD Expert conducted a survey on this subject throughout Europe, interviewing professionals in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom about their lunch break eating habits, in order to create a complete picture of what the lunch break looks like on the continent.

A closer look at where workers are eating their lunches away from home

For example, Europeans visit 6 different types of settings on average in any given month during their lunch breaks.

Even if we can determine one overwhelmingly popular place where all Europeans like to eat lunch, we also see that in each country, there are unique routines when it comes to eating out.

Although many professionals eat lunch at the office regularly (both meals prepared at-home or bought from nearby stores), others prefer have their lunches delivered to the office, or even eat out in traditional restaurant settings several times per month.

European lunch routines & lunch break perception.

Here we see that the majority of Europeans spend between 15 and 30 minutes during their lunch breaks.

All Europeans consider their lunch break to be a moment to unwind, relax and spend time in the company of their co-workers.

On the hand, certain Europeans prefer to work and eat at the same time, and even spend their lunch break in the company of their personal friends, instead of colleagues!

When considering how much Europeans spend on lunch and how long they take, we are able to distinguish three groups. These groups, however, are close, with budgets only differing by three euros at most!

Sandwiches, burgers, salads, daily specials and pizza make up the typical European lunch break menu, and while burgers are a popular food choice in each country surveyed, they’re not one of the three most popular foods eaten by professionals during their lunch breaks.

Become unbeatable on the European lunch break with our study! Discover comparative results for each surveyed country – offering an outlook on Europe as a whole, along with detailed results per typology and country, and a special focus on millennials (18 – 34 years) with conclusions from our experts.

Nicolas Nouchi, Global Head of Market research for CHD Expert, says about the subject, “This study was conducted to measure the different routines of professionals during their lunch break when eating outside of the home which, for the moment, is one of the most competitive markets in food service. The comparison between the ‘big five’ presents the duality between globalisation and routine (concerning takeaway meals, reduced break times, budgets, premium services, etc.) and specificities per individual countries, i.e. the impact of large chain supermarkets and brown-bag lunches in the UK, the predominance of bakeries in Germany, and rising household costs in Spain, etc. The results of this survey give us a clear and concise look at the future of the lunch break and the volatility of certain consumers when faced with all the different options available.”

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