Students outspend workers on lunch

| July 24, 2017 | By

20-year-old students spend nearly 14% more on lunch compared to 30-year-old workers, according to new data from Yoyo.

Yoyo analysed 8000 random individual lunchtime transactions of 20-year-olds across 152 student canteens between February and April – a busy period for students as exams approach.

A comparison was then made with the same number of random individual lunchtime transactions of 30-year-old workers from 128 business canteens in the exact same time period.

The data revealed that the average lunchtime spend of a 20-year-old student is £3.79 compared to £3.33 for a 30-year-old worker – a spending difference of 46 pence.

A further data breakdown found that nearly 60% of 30-year-old workers only buy one item per lunchtime transaction, while just over half of students purchase two items or more.

Breakdown:Worker - Students Lunchtime Spend





Dom Povey, head of retailer product at Yoyo, said:

It’s interesting to see that students are spending more than young professionals at lunchtime given that they typically have less disposable income but as always, there are a few things to consider.

“The first is to note that onsite catering within corporate environments is not always driven by profit, their focus is often to ensure customer satisfaction above everything else. To this end, they are often subsidised to ensure that they are providing quality food at a competitive price.

“It’s also worth considering how much of the total lunchtime spend we are seeing. In the instance where a student wants to spend slightly more on lunch or has arranged to meet friends and eat as a group, we would see this higher purchase.

“In the event that the young professionals within the corporate environment feel like a treat or have clients to entertain, they are unlikely to stay onsite but instead choose a restaurant or cafe within the surrounding area and so we would not see these higher priced lunches in our calculations.”

Lunchtime buying comparisons aside, students and workers do have one thing in common – they both get hungry around the same time each day, according to Yoyo data:

Peak purchasing time for lunch:

  • 20-year-old students:  12:00 – 12:09

  • 30-year-old workers:   12:10 – 12:19

Data based on 16000 transactions through the Yoyo Wallet app
 (Business: 8000 /
 Education: 8000)

-Time period: 1 February – 30 April
-Lunchtime definition: Transactions between 12pm and 2pm
-Number of canteen outlets: Business: 128
 / Education: 152