To be held from 6 June to 10 June, the week will look to address Bookatable research that claimed that 66% of working Brits have seen a decline in business lunches across their careers.
Two in five respondents (41%) said that financial pressures were to blame for their not taking business lunches, with 28% citing a lack of time, 19% blaming staff shortages. Over one in 10 (13%) workers even said that their boss had told them not attend a lunch in recent years.
This is despite 40% saying that business lunches can be key to signing deals, and 30% of some professions fearing that a lack of socializing over lunch could actually harm their business. A quarter (25%) of respondents said that business lunches gave workers the chance to find out about new opportunities, while 22% say it helps them to retain clients.
The research also found that in the 1980s, business lunches were likely to last on average 2-3 hours, compared to just an hour today, and that businesses now invest 20% less in corporate lunches today compared to 20-30 years ago.
Average spend on business lunches now is at £35, and time-wise, many workers will spend less than an hour at the table.
Commenting on the findings, Bookatable chief executive Joe Steele said: “The business lunch has been on the decline in recent years. Our research shows that perceived expense and a lack of time are major contributing factors – but many restaurants now offer incredible lunchtime deals coupled with speedy service. Doing business over lunch is still a fundamental way to build vital working relationships.”
John Wiltshire, general manager at London skyscraper restaurant Aqua Shard, commented: “Over recent years we have noticed that our business clientele are looking for lunch options that are more cost and time effective. Our modern business diners are looking to be more time efficient with their day.”