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Break time at any time

Break time at any time

Nowadays, breaks can be taken at any time of the day, whenever suits people best. This lifestyle change has given rise to a wide variety of needs, which are met by adapting opening times and offering original formats.

Published in March 2017

What time should we take a break? What should we eat? Where should we go? The answers to these questions create an endless number of configurations, which means that break times have never been as varied. The catering options of both now and tomorrow need to be flexible in order to respond to changing mindsets and lifestyles.

Because breaks are an essential part of the day despite the many demands on people’s time, Elior Group has put in place innovative offerings and services so that wherever guests are – at the office, in school, traveling or in hospital – they can take the type of break they want, whenever they want.

"When lunch time becomes a way of building relations, it really does help create a wider sense of well-being at work."

Marie Schneegans, co-founder of Never Eat Alone

It was concession catering that paved the way, because when people are traveling, the length and timing of their breaks depend on their journey times rather than on traditional eating hours. And this trend has now extended into the corporate sector, where food and beverage outlets are open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and sometimes even 24 hours a day

Flexibility has become a watchword and proposing a diverse range of choices is essential; for example a traditional breakfast is now combined with other options such as snacks or juices or a hot drink in a coffee lounge. By proposing multiple offerings in a single restaurant or several different concepts within one office building, Elior Group is giving everyone the opportunity to eat what they want when they want. They can even do it with people they've never met thanks to Never Eat Alone, an app that connects employees or students based on topics of interest and helps them set up a shared lunch.


75% of employees take at least one break other than their lunch break during the day (in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA).

Another major current trend is that a good meal is not in itself enough to have an enjoyable lunch time. Nowadays, these breaks are also times for relaxing and seeing friends or for working or having a meeting, while staying connected throughout. As a result, spaces have been rethought and optimized, with modular configurations, connected areas and numerous different types of seating. Corporate restaurants are definitely not what they used to be! Certain Elior Group concepts for corporations, such as ZestEat or Worko, offer spaces that are ideal for working as their relaxed atmosphere makes people more effective.


Generation Y currently represents 30% of the workforce. By 2020, it will account for 1 guest out of 2.

If eating habits have changed so much in recent years, especially in the business world, it is largely thanks to the arrival of millennials in the work place. This generation of under-30s – also known as Generation Y – currently represents 30% of the workforce and is shifting the goalposts for the food industry. Hyper-mobile and hyper-connected, Generation Y likes breaking with tradition and living off the beaten track. These young professionals want to have complete autonomy when it comes to managing their work space and break times.

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