HR & Management

We're creatures of habit: Typical office lunches from across the globe

2 min read

17 August 2017

We don't all believe variety is the spice of life. Most of us stick closely to what we like and know – especially when it comes to office lunches.

Much emphasis has recently been placed on office lunches, with the general consensus among experts being that eating at your desk leaves you unsatisfied, unhappy, unproductive and feeling rushed.

Helen Bailey, founder of Aviatrix, deemed bad lunch habits “a serious mistake”. She said: “It is limiting for your business – taking you away from strategic, unburdened, creative thinking. We all know giving the brain a periodic rest is good for us.”

Likewise, Charlotte Cross, director of the Better Health at Work Alliance, suggested it was “another form of presenteeism. Some organisations have a culture of busy-ness; a belief that if you sit at your desk your are being productive. It increases stress and does nothing to improve physical health.

It’s a serious issue, especially among efforts from the government to lead Britain into a workplace revolution. But Viking brings up quite a good point.

Even if we took a full hour to eat outside with colleagues, most of us would be unhappy.

It turns out that we’re creatures of habit, especially when it comes to office lunches – and despite 81 per cent of us being bored by our never-changing selection, we fail to do anything about it.

It’s probably in combination of amusement and forceful change that Viking analysed office lunches in ten different countries to pinpoint the “average” workforce meal.

“It can be easy to get yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle,” Viking noted, “so we want to shake up menus across the UK by looking for some inspiration overseas.

“With a wealth of research out there (including surveys, statistics, and reports) and a little guidance from our international team, we found the typical lunchtime meal from ten different countries.”

Here we unveil the company’s findings – in pictures.

(1) UK


(2) Germany


(3) Austria


(4) Italy


(5) France


(6) The Netherlands


(7) Brazil


(8) Turkey


(9) India


(10) US