Pub food growth in spite of work culture

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Related tags: Pub food, Lunch, British beer & pub association

The growth of the pub food market is being held back by the British culture of working long hours. The pub food business is worth almost £5bn a year...

The growth of the pub food market is being held back by the British culture of working long hours. The pub food business is worth almost £5bn a year (source: British Beer & Pub Association), but a report by Reuters Business claims workers in this country spend just £2.10 on lunch each day with most people choosing off-the-shelf sandwiches to eat at their desks as the old-fashioned lunch hour is squeezed into a half-hour "pit stop". Only the Germans (£2.00) spend less on lunch than the British, who lag behind the Scandinavians (£4.70), Spanish (£4.10), French (£3.80), Italians (£3.10) and the Dutch (£2.80). The Reuters study follows a similar survey published by the Abbey National in the summer, which claimed that Britain was turning into a nation of SADs (Stuck At Desks). It said that around 70% of office workers regularly eat lunch at their desks and 14% do not take lunch at all while 42% brought a packed lunch to work. Under the Working Times Directive, introduced in 2000, employees who work for more than six hours a day are entitled to a break of at least 20 minutes. According to the British Beer & Pub Association, nine out of 10 pubs offer food at lunchtime. Spokesman Mark Hastings said these surveys go against the association's own evidence. "People may be having shorter lunches and it may depend on what job you do whether you have time to eat out at lunch time. But many pubs are still enjoying a steady trade in food at this time of day," he added.

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