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Sandwiches and biscuits

Posted 17/02/2011 by KatieJ

Remember hose halcyon days when a business meeting that stretched into lunchtime meant an exotic array of food and drink? Just think about the spreads that are supplied for meetings at SCI headquarters.

However, those days of excess are long gone, according to a recent survey by Maris Interiors, an office design company of all things, presumably concerned about the possibility of including fully equipped kitchens in their designs.

Some 80% of employees believe the quality of sandwiches at their business meetings has fallen, with only 4% believing that the quality has improved over the last five years. The non-gourmets who hadn’t noticed any change at all amounted to some 16% of those surveyed.

And the amount spent has also dropped dramatically, down from just under £6.00/ person in 2006 to the current level of £3.80/person. And this fall is reflected in the changes in the types of filling, presumably to reduce that cost, from the popular crayfish and avocado and chicken teriyaki then to the cheese and pickle and tuna – hopefully environmentally sourced – and sweet corn of today.

And it is not just sandwiches that are feeling the pinch: what about biscuits in the Houses of Parliament, or rather the lack of them? One supposes that in these straitened times one should even perhaps forgo that meeting lunch offering or even provide one’s own but, where possible, better meeting timetabling might be a more suitable solution, eliminating the need for lunch entirely! Better not to offer a lunch at all than offer a poor excuse for lunch.

As Michael Howard, chairman of Maris Interiors, puts it: ‘It’s a sign of these austere times that companies are spending much less on sandwiches in the boardroom. It’s certainly a sensible way to cut costs, but be careful not to overdo it; you won’t impress a client with jam sandwiches!’

Neil Eisberg - Editor

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