forum/jb/1stjc/mark2nd

The New York Times reported last week that Americans are spending less time at lunch under a half-hour on average. Heavier workloads take most of the blame for people eating lunch at their desks, although others are taking less time at lunch so they can get out of work more quickly. For a sense of what's happening in L.A., the Business Journal Forum asks:

Do you take an hour for lunch every day?

Nico Vilgiate

Broker

Cushman Realty Corp.

To quote Gordon Gecko from the movie "Wall Street," lunch is for wimps. If I have to eat, I'll eat an In 'n' Out burger because I'm in and out. When you are a broker, there is no typical lunch hour you just eat on the fly and try to make good sense of what you eat. Yeah, sometimes I'll even eat in my car.

Blane Prescott

Executive director

Latham & Watkins

Normally, every day we are having lunch in the course of a meeting. We don't really even go to lunch that often. But 20 minutes is probably right. We're trying to get something done having a quick sandwich in the conference room and then getting right back to work. I don't know too many people that (take a full hour) unless you're with a client. Or, you suddenly realize it's 4 p.m. and you've been so busy that you forgot to eat.

Victor Drai

Owner

Drai's restaurant

As for me, I'm working during lunch feeding other people. But sometimes I'll sit in the restaurant to eat something that way I can keep an eye on the place. I don't think (the lunch hour) has gone down that much, at least not to me. The people we have are in the entertainment business, and they will stay in here for 45 minutes to an hour.

Eddie Ackerman

Absolute Post

The days of the power lunch are still here if you are an agent. But everyone else is faced with cutbacks. Even the vice president who once had the luxury of a two-hour lunch is not that available any more. There are days that I never leave my desk from the time I get here at 8 a.m. to when I leave here at 8 p.m. Going to lunch is not an everyday experience for me.

Linda Rosner

President

Artisans Public Relations

For me, the power lunch is very much alive. It's how I can get a lot of work done. If a client is in his office, than we are constantly interrupted by phone calls and people coming in the office. But getting out of the office for a bite to eat allows us the privacy and time to talk. Other than that, I'll just grab something and eat it at my desk. And lunches at the desk aren't really extravagant.

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