Can you lunch for less at high-end restaurants?

The Staff Canteen

High-end restaurants are ushering in new customers by offering diners more affordable and efficient lunch menus

Restaurants in London are becoming part of the new trend of “express” style lunch menus. These new set meals are catered towards a new customer, one that may only have an hour for lunch but doesn’t want to sacrifice quality.

Which restaurants are offering lunch menus?

Roganic, Isabel Mayfair and Oblix West have all designed new menus to cater for this new wave of diners who want efficiency and value.

Those opting for the Set Business Lunch Menu at Roganic can expect a dishes made from seasonal produce such as mackerel, radishes, lamb, beetroot and more.  Other options include a seven-course tasting menu and a 'short' tasting menu. 

Simon Rogan revealed: "We wanted to create a set business lunch menu at Roganic as we are aware that not everyone can take the time out of a busy working day to experience the full tasting menu. We’re still serving our cuisine and taking the same level of care to create this menu, but it’s more of a snapshot experience that is more accessible.

"What we like is that the set lunch options gives our guest a chance to experience some of our favourite dishes and grow familiar with our dining experience and ethos – so that they hopefully want to come back and experience the full offering when they do have the time to do so."

The Oblix West has launched their Elevator Lunch Menu in direct response to what they call the “London lifestyle” of fast-paced busy workday lunches. The set menu includes some of Oblix West’s signature dishes with starters including steak tartare, beetroot, goat’s curd and rye crumble, or the truffle flatbread with pancetta and ricotta.

Oblix Executive Chef Marcus Eaves says: "Oblix West designed the Elevator Lunch Menu for those who like to dine out for lunch but are time precious. The Elevator Lunch offers a succinct, refined experience without compromising on the quality of the Oblix West experience or culinary expertise."

He continued: "We’ve received some really positive feedback from diners so far – they seem to appreciate that we have diversified our offering and are always looking for ways to make their dining experience as enjoyable as possible. We’ve kept some of the Oblix West signature dishes on the menu too so our regulars aren’t disappointed!".
Oblix West

Why are restaurants feeling pressured to lower prices?

Competition from quick-food establishments could be pushing higher-end restaurants to reconsider prices.

Research by NDP group found that Britons are spending on average about £6 on lunch. Londoners are spending the most at £6.60 while the typical lunch spends in Manchester is £5.50. Those living in Brighton are spending £5.90 and workers living in York and Eastbourne are buying their lunches for £6.30.

On the weekend, lunchers are more likely to spend a little extra and put over £7 towards their lunches.

How is Britain profiting off the lunch boom?

A recent study showed that last year 50% of those surveyed said they “rarely have time to eat a proper breakfast”. This could be driving up sales for restaurants, as workers are more likely to spend money on lunch. Lunchtime remains the biggest earner for the foodservice industry and is forecast to grow steadily, by 4.1% by 2019 according to research from the NDP group.

Britain’s foodservice industry is predicted to grow by an additional 83 million visits this year, growing 0.7% from the previous year.

Who's out for lunch?

The next two years are predicted to be profitable for the foodservice industry. There were 1 billion lunch visits out-of-home by the over-50 age group for 2016/17, totalling a spend of £6 billion on lunch over the year. A researcher from the NPD Group said: “The over-50s demographic in Britain will grow in size and become wealthier, more active and more experimental than previous generations. The report also highlighted that this key demographic  'represented an excellent target for the foodservice industry' and predicted that they will 'play a bigger role in the growing popularity of eating lunch out of home.'

How is Brexit impacting eating out?

The result of the EU Referendum in June 2016 saw the price of food rise as the pound fell in value.

The Global research group has suggested that a ‘hard Brexit’ could stifle the growth of the foodservice industry. Early projections suggest it could stifle growth by 0.5% by 2019.

By Tamara Hough

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd August 2018

Can you lunch for less at high-end restaurants?