Over the past decade, more people have been eating at their desks and shortening their lunch times — sometimes even working through lunch. Are you doing more of this? Are your co-workers?
Over the last decade, fueled by salary cuts and job insecurity, lunch hour has evolved. It’s shorter, more purposeful and more often spent in the office. It’s the source of lawsuits, a point of contention among generations, and a contributor to the obesity epidemic.
The shift in the midday ritual has some businesses repurposing their lunchrooms and others reshaping their policies. It has even launched a national movement called Take Back Your Lunch Hour.
For some, the move toward brown-bagging began with an effort to cut costs and show commitment. But even as the economy rebounds and summer approaches, habits aren’t changing for some.
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But Columbia-area restaurants say they are starting to see an uptick in business after a dismal mid-day downturn over the past few years.
Joe Roche, an owner of downtown’s Villa Tronco, said he and his family bought a building about five years ago to expand. But they put the plans on hold when the economy soured and business started to drop off.
The eatery was hit with a double-whammy when SCANA pulled more than 900 workers off of Main Street and moved to a new campus in Cayce. Lunchtime business dropped 20 percent, Roche said.
But in recent months, as the economy has begun to improve and there is new interest on Main Street with the opening of Mast General Store, business is starting to pick up again for lunch, Roche said.
If you have stopped eating out for lunch – or have started back again, contact Kristy Rupon at (803) 771-8308 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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