The lunch break is a valuable part of the work day — it’s a chance to rest and disconnect after a busy morning. If your employees face heavy traffic and long lines every time they go out to a restaurant, they can’t enjoy the full benefits of the midday break. By finding ways to beat the lunch rush, you can ensure your team returns refreshed and ready to be productive throughout the remainder of the afternoon.

Lunch rush: the bad and the ugly

As the clock ticks closer to noon each weekday, restaurants around the United States start to fill up with hungry customers. The lunch rush is one of the most chaotic times of day in the food service industry and can last until 2pm.

This sudden spike in demand can create an issue for people who are short on time. Depending on the restaurant and the location, your employees could easily wait in line for 20 minutes to get their food. Add in the walk or drive to the restaurant and it could be 30 minutes before they take the first bite.

Given that the basic standard lunch break is about 30-45 minutes long, many professionals face a dilemma. They can either spend the majority of their time securing a lunch order or forgo the fulfillment of a hearty meal.

Tips for beating the lunch rush

If long lines are affecting your team’s ability to enjoy a relaxing midday break, try these tips for beating the lunch rush:

  • Order delivery. Delivery lunch orders eliminate time spent in transit and waiting in line — that way, your employees have the whole lunch break to decompress and enjoy their food. This strategy is particularly helpful if your business isn’t located within walking distance of restaurants.
  • Provide catered meals. By providing catered lunches for your team, you can accomplish two critical goals: beat the lunch rush and boost morale. Employees will appreciate the free meal, of course, but they also get an opportunity to dine as a group. Because there’s no need to go out for food, they have more time to relax, chat, and build closer office friendships. Those relationships can improve the overall working environment and company culture.

Grubhub Corporate Accounts streamlines the company-sponsored catering process, making it easier to add meal allowances to your benefits package. A Corporate Account provides the most ways to order, including:

  • Individual meals. Employees can order their own meals within your present timeframe and price parameters, no matter where they’re working. This feature saves time for team members who are on business trips, working remotely, or meeting with customers and clients off-site.
  • Group orders. Your in-office employees can order from the same restaurant or the eatery of their choice. Whether they’re in the mood for soup or a burger and fries, each person gets exactly what they want. All meals are delivered at the same time, minimizing disruptions and enabling the whole team to take a lunch break simultaneously. Plus, there’s no minimum number of diners or orders required.
  • Catering. Grubhub Corporate Accounts’ catered meals can come in individual boxes, so you don’t have to spend time setting up or taking down a buffet line. You can order in advance and schedule delivery, enabling efficient planning.

When you work with Grubhub for corporate ordering, employees can avoid the lunch rush and enjoy meals that are catered to their tastes and dietary requirements. As a bonus, they never need to spend time filing receipts or turning in expense reports; all billing goes through the company account, reducing the workload for your administrative and accounting teams.

The value of a catered lunch and why it can boost productivity

A delicious lunch has both physical and emotional benefits for your employees. The food provides much-needed energy to keep the team going until 5 p.m. It also breaks up the day, which is useful since most people can’t maintain their focus for 8 hours straight.

A restaurant meal, in particular, is a welcome treat — it’s a pleasure to choose a cuisine and enjoy professionally prepared food. Plus, employees don’t have to rely on their own cooking skills or spend time packing a lunch.

In addition to saving time, catered lunches can help increase employee productivity. Consider the mental energy that goes into choosing a restaurant, traveling there, waiting in line with other hungry customers, and dealing with traffic during a lunch rush — each task eats away at the rejuvenating benefits of the lunch break.

The catered-lunch experience is considerably more refreshing. Workers can simply walk to the kitchen or conference room; there’s no need to find parking or manage extreme weather. They have more time to hang out with coworkers, or pop out for a stroll in the sunshine. When lunch is over, they can return to work feeling energized and ready for the afternoon.

It’s hard to underestimate the business benefits of a stress-free lunch. Studies show that after a break, workers are better able to focus and complete tasks efficiently. Over the long term, lower stress levels can boost morale and productivity, all while reducing sick days, and turnover. Many employers may even end up saving in overall costs more than they spend on catering. After all, job stress costs United States employers $300 billion per year.

If you’re interested in the time savings and productivity benefits that result from avoiding the lunch rush, Grubhub Corporate Accounts can help. Get started for free today.