Boozy business lunches a thing of the past?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Tom Cannavan, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Press release just in from a PR company on research by Deliveroo (?) polling 2,000 business people:

    "BOOZY work lunches are in danger of becoming a thing of the past, as seven in ten working Brits would no longer DREAM of drinking at lunchtime."

    "The average business lunch now lasts under one hour, while ten years ago a lunch would last at least two hours or more, according to those polled."

    Didn't that change happen a decade ago?
  2. Whenever it happened it is extremely regrettable. It is easily demonstrable that puritanical luncheon habits are profoundly inimical to productivity, efficiency and the ability to make good decisions, and like very long working hours are a macho end in themselves rather than anything else.
  3. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Do you work for Ginger Communications PR Agency?

    "57 percent said some of their best and most lucrative deals were clinched over a boozy lunch, with 62 percent admitting we’ve lost the fun side of business and client relationships."
    Thom Blach likes this.
  4. Those long lunches are often just not allowed anymore, the expenses simply not covered and if received have to be declared. All part of anti-corruption policies.
  5. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Russ, in larger companies I am sure that is true. Overall, it must hit restaurants hard in the major city centres. Between it, lower drink-drive limits and general 'health consciousness', I see far fewer couples with a bottle on the table these days, lunch or dinner: often seems to be by the glass or soft drinks. Thank God we're keeping our end up ;)
    Leon Marks likes this.
  6. I still insist regularly on taking out my team for "offsite team meetings" which revolve around a long, lazy lunch and industrial quantities of booze. Whatever the lifestyle gurus and life coaches may call it, I think of it as developing personal relationships with work colleagues that seems to happen much better if you just pour booze over it.
  7. Hi,

    In France, at should I say in the part of it I live in, there has been a definite decrease in long lunches, but they nevertheless remain an institution.

    What is more of a trend is people drinking less wine, or even none at all with lunch.

    I try to invite good customers out to a good restaurant meal from time to time.

    IBM France is, apparently, the only country in the world that serves wine in the employee cafeteria.

    Alex R.
    Graham Harvey likes this.
  8. I regret to report that this priggishness has spread even as far as the music industry. Where just a few years ago a 5-6 hour lunch was the norm, we now have to make do with as few as 4-5 hours for a luncheon meeting before adjourning to a different venue on someone else's expense account.

    Further proof of the end of civilisation as we know it and I am surely not alone in thinking that urgent measures must be introduced to curb this incessant piety.
  9. I do some of my best thinking in a wine bar, but all too little opportunity...
  10. You just wait until Generation Sensible get their claws into this particular industry. Their motto: “When the fun stops, stop whingeing”.

    Time to prepare to fight the good fight Will.
    Will Devize and Alex Jagger like this.
  11. I try and sell to people in the Public Sector in the UK and I cannot even buy a civil servant a cup of coffee anymore, let alone lunch or dinner!
    Bill Marks likes this.
  12. Do they still serve it at the services on the autoroutes?
  13. Well they certainly used to, not sure if they do anymore. They actually grow grapes in the grounds of one of the campuses in Montpellier, not sure if they make any wine from them though. You used to be able to get wine with your meal in the canteen at NATO headquarters in Brussels, but again no idea if you still can.

    My dad (many years ago) worked for Courage and at that time all employees had a beer allowance that they could exploit when eating in the staff canteens.:)
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  14. At Heineken last year boozy lunches were actively encourgaed so long as one was drinking 0.0% beer...
  15. One of the relatively few advantages of being self-employed in Spain; boozy lunches are still very much accepted as part of company culture. Occasionally a more boring version of myself raises questions regarding budgetary restraints, but overall it's pretty smooth sailing!
    Jeremy Caan and Graham Harvey like this.
  16. We still have the Friday lunch culture. :p
  17. Wine used to be freely available at the Judges' Mess at the Old Bailey and several Judges regularly consumed impressive quantities at lunch. This came to an end as recently as 2015. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been no noticeable improvement in the standard of afternoon judging.
  18. Alex, you may laugh at this due to your dual wife used to travel to France for work and always enjoyed the long lunches. She enjoyed it even more when the Americans came over to boss the French.

    You see, the French would book a restaurant and saunter down for 12.00. They’d chat and casually peruse the menu, order enough wine for everyone, and then begin.

    She tells me that after an hour the Americans would be fidgeting, pulling out phones, but the French would ignore it all, ordering dessert and then coffee. They’d ensure they got back to the office dead on 14.00, exactly two hours.

    K, being a French speaker, always felt more in tune with the French (who were always in the office by 8.00 and never left before 7.30). The non-French speaking Americans would moan to her as if she were one of them, but she could fully understand why the French did it.

    Of course when it was just K with French colleagues they’d have a nice lunch, but probably skip dessert, take a swift café, and often be back in the office in an hour and a half. She’d have a glass of wine but no more at lunch.
  19. They used to serve it in hospital. I spent two weeks in the hotel dieu (now closed) on the Île de la Cité in Paris and once I was saved it was wine with every meal. Even when they started me on broth/soup only, I still got wine.
  20. A brewery rep told me they used to have to have a pint in each tied pub they visited. Mostly to check its quality but partly as the landlord was insulted if they didn't. They then drove onto the next and so on. Another culture that's changed!
  21. In the 1970s (which is both when I learnt to drive and also became more aware of what others, especially my elders, were doing) the amounts of alcohol consumed were prodigious.

    And then they drove! I can assert with total certainty that one friend’s father was pissed every time I went in his car. God knows how I survived the number of journeys I had with drunk people.

    I was more circumspect. I skidded on ice one winter on the way back from the pub with a car full, and went into a ditch. I’d only had soft drinks and considered it a lucky lesson learned.

    Even then, take me to rural France (and Italy) pre-kids and I admit I drank a lot and slowly drove home on deserted roads on a number of occasions. I can be sure the whole restaurant did in most cases.

    The culture changed, for the better I would say, and I don’t drink any alcohol at all when driving now, and haven’t for many years. But if I don’t have to drive I’ll still happily share a bottle at any lunch, and a couple over dinner, just so long as it’s a bus or taxi home.

    I do miss those long work lunches though. And I know that they made us more productive in the long run, not less. And what we lost due to alcohol, we gained in terms of less stress and burn out.
    Fintan Kerr and Andrew Blunsden like this.
  22. Been a good while since I was last there but the EU commission staff restaurant served a bulk wine self service through a tap rather like the Spoons do . Around 60 cents a glass and a good way of draining the wine lake I guess. I think Michel barnier keeps the good stuff
  23. Never forget the Bass people trying to convince us to join them as graduates by extolling the virtues of having free Bass on tap in every manager’s office...
  24. I think attitudes have changed, particularly in my world of banking and finance, as they struggle to shake off the image of excess, greed and downright crassness. Working practices have changed a lot as well and there is much less travel, very restrictive expense accounts and more and more people working from home meaning a lot of interaction with colleagues and customers is done by skype or audioconference.
  25. I don't think that's true. Airbus in Toulouse do and I can't imagine they are the only one.

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