7 different (and curious) ways in which workers eat lunch in the world

7 different (and curious) ways in which workers eat lunch in the world


There is a lot to learn about the working culture of a country from how people take their lunch.

But how are l lunch are in different parts of m orld?

We ask people from various countries what their lunch is like.

1. Makul Paraekh – Bombay, India

“Today there is less time for lunch in Bombay,” says Mukul Paraekh, who usually takes half an hour to have lunch at his desk.

Indian lunch
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption In India, many are forced to have lunch in front of their desk.

Paraekh, manager of an accounting firm, blames traffic jams and increasing pressure on workers for this lack of time. Fast lunch is a priority .

Although it usually brings food from home, there is also an alternative and unique solution in Bombay : boxes of hot food, called tiffins , are sent to the offices from restaurants or homes by messengers known as dabbawalas .

A dabbawala
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption The dabbawalas of Bombay carry hot food wherever it is needed.

The dabbawalas use a unique coded system to track hundreds of thousands of meals and commit fewer than 3.4 errors per million transactions.

“This secret coding system is passed on to the heirs and the business remains in the same family for years,” says Paraekh, 63.

2. Sarah Gimono – Mbale, Uganda

Another place where the speed of lunch is a priority is Mbale, Uganda, where Sarah Gimono works as a project manager for a nonprofit organization.

She says that eating as fast as possible gives people more time to work, but rarely do people skip lunch .

Street food stand in Uganda.
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption Street food stalls abound in Uganda.

” Dinner is less important in Uganda than lunch , when people need to take a break from work,” says the 27-year-old, who normally takes 30 minutes to lunch and eats at a nearby restaurant.

“The work culture in Uganda is so varied that at lunch some people eat at the office and others go out to nearby restaurants and enjoy lunch as a team,” he explains.

Fortunately for Gimono, who often does field work in various projects in Uganda, it is easy to get fast, cheap and tasty street food , like the so-called rolex : a rolled chapati (hence the name) around a mixture of egg and onions fries and tomatoes.

3. Vanessa Monroy – New York, USA

Professional dog walker Vanessa Monroy, 40, says New Yorkers can spend their entire lunch break lining up to buy a salad or a sandwich .

Instead, she packs snack bars and other non-perishable foods to eat throughout the day.

People lining up to buy food in New York.
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption In cities like New York, the options are not lacking. But time often does.

“It’s easier for me to have a good breakfast in the morning at home and then pack the snacks in my bag,” he explains.

The small, frequent meals are healthier than three large meals, he says, and avoid the feeling of stunning that often follows a great lunch.

“Fast food is more practical, but it’s not good,” he says.

Rush hour in the New York subway
Copyright of the image GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Most employees in the US It does not take more than half an hour to have lunch.

In the United States, workers tend to take shorter breaks for lunch than in other countries.

For example, in a 2016 survey conducted by the firm Edenred corporate services to their employees, 51% of those polled US it took 15 to 30 minutes for lunch , and only 3% took more than 45 minutes, much less than in France, where 43% of respondents take 45 minutes or more.

4. Faith Raagas – Macati, Philippines

The jollijeeps , semi-permanent food carts , began to appear in the city of Makati about five years ago, as part of an initiative to organize and regulate street vendors, says Faith Ragaas, manager of an investment management firm.

Her favorite, Lilies, is three minutes walk from her office.

I would eat in the Philippines
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption Traditional food stands are being replaced by jollijeeps.

” Instead of the normal greasy food that is sold in plastic on the street, there are some good jollijeeps who have become famous for offering a healthy, homemade lunch that gives workers another option so they do not have to go to a restaurant or cafeteria, “she says.

Making three meals a day is so crucial in the Philippines that lunch time is protected by the labor code, says Ragaas, with one hour for each employee for every eight hours of work.

5. Francois Pellan – Paris, France

France is known for its generous lunchtime culture. The Edenred survey, for example, concluded that 43% of French respondents take 45 minutes or more for lunch, and 72% eat at a restaurant at least once a week .

Coffee in France
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption 72% of French people eat at a restaurant at least once a week.

Parisian designer and illustrator Francois Pellan frequently buys food at a local supermarket and eats together with colleagues in the kitchen of his work .

But at least once a week they go to a restaurant in District 20 for an hour or so. At work, he and his colleagues “talk a lot, exchange views and ideas with other people about things.”

“The conversation extends to meals, which are an important social aspect of French life ,” explains this 35-year-old man.

Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption Wine is an important part of the French diet. Especially on Fridays.

There is also another incentive for lunch in France, where the population drank 11.3% of the wine consumed in the world in 2014.

“On Fridays, when we are more relaxed, we usually go to a restaurant together as a group and have a beer or a wine with lunch .”

6. Tamar Kassabian – Cairo, Egypt

“I do not eat fast food or junk, so I prepare my lunch or buy something simple at one of the nearby restaurants,” says Tamar Kassabian, 31, who works as a manager at Citystars Heliopolis, one of the largest shopping centers in Elsa. Cairo.

Since breakfast is usually substantial and eaten late in the morning, Kassabian says that lunch is often delayed until 3 or 4 in the afternoon and dinner until 9 in the afternoon or more.

Restaurant in Cairo.
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption Lunch in Egypt usually starts quite late.

“Many companies give one to two hours of break for lunch, but people use this time to drink coffee and the rest of breakfast, and then take another half hour to have lunch later, ” he says.

Kassabian says that in the last year workers have started using companies like Yumamia, a “junk food delivery service”, to bring healthier foods to the office.

7. Eliza Rinaldi – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Eliza Rinaldi prepares healthy ingredients at home and organizes her lunch at noon in the office, a content production agency in downtown Sao Paulo, where she works as communications director.

Your business partner, Natascha, does the same. “As we both care about our health and save money,” says this woman of 34 years.

Bar in Sao Paulo during a soccer world cup match
Copyright of the image AFP
Image caption Bringing food from home is not typical in Sao Paulo.

Rinaldi explains that his routine is not typical in Sao Paulo, where lunch is usually the main food of the day.

“Most companies offer tickets for food – credit for food as part of their work benefits – so people tend to go out for lunch outside .

“In Sao Paulo working long hours (often from 9-7 pm), so it makes sense to take it one hour for lunch and leave the office , ” he says.

“People are trying to break the habit of working so many hours, but there is a traditional mentality that if you are not present, you do not work so hard,” he says.

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