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Grubhub to provide NYC office workers with free lunch on Tuesday

To support local restaurants in the NYC area, Grubhub will provide NYC-based office workers with free lunch on Tuesday, May 17.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: All right, let's stick with food because another story that we're tracking, Grubhub, it's hoping to help New Yorkers reclaim their midday break with some free lunch tomorrow. Brooke DiPalma is here with the details. Brooke, what's going on?

BROOKE DIPALMA: That's right. On Tuesday, May 17, New Yorkers have the opportunity to get a free lunch on behalf of Grubhub. According to a new poll that they did, they found that 69% of workers admitted to skipping work-- skipping lunch, that is, because they're returning to the office. Can you believe it? I, for one, cannot skip lunch, but these workers, that they did, simply because they're not leaving their desk.

And so Grubhub is aiming to provide free lunch to provide opportunities for local restaurants, as well as their drivers, to make some way back. And so they're offering this. It's only going to happen in New York City. Workers can go on to their app and they can enter the code, FREELUNCH, for up to $15 of that free lunch. It'll only happen between the hours of 11:00 to 2:00, so if some people can't make it, they're also offering a $5 promotion in New York City only, until May 31.

Now, I spoke to an executive at Grubhub. And they said this really hopes to drum up some business for those local restaurant owners, for those workers, but also in hopes to remind employees' needs, what they said, busy professionals, that lunch breaks really are important. Of course, a bit promotional there, but at the end of the day, really hoping to return that back to work meal that people really enjoy with their co-workers.

DAVE BRIGGS: OK, it was Grubhub, 11:00 to 2:00. What was the code again? Because I'm getting in on this.

BROOKE DIPALMA: FREELUNCH, FREELUNCH. And--

DAVE BRIGGS: Code, FREELUNCH. I can remember that.

BROOKE DIPALMA: But it's only up to 15. So if you're ordering a salad, you know, salad inflation really hitting those prices there.

DAVE BRIGGS: Oh, no.

BROOKE DIPALMA: It may not cover the whole lunch. You may have to throw some money in, but hey, $15--

SEANA SMITH: Take what we can get.

BROOKE DIPALMA: --just to drum up some excitement.

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm going to cover my bowl over at Cava where I like to eat a lot.

BROOKE DIPALMA: I love Cava as well.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, so you mentioned the impact on a lot of these restaurants. How have they been impacted with this-- well, people are still staying home.

BROOKE DIPALMA: Exactly. So a lot more people have changed the way that they're consuming food. A lot more people are packing lunches to go to the office or perhaps eating at home, while still being at work. And as you can see here, according to Placer.ai data, lunch traffic during these hours are significantly down from 2019. People just are not leaving their houses. They're not eating out as much. Most significantly here, at sweetgreen, one of the go-to salad shops, it was really blossoming, really booming in 2019. McDonald's, Panera, Chipotle, Shake Shack also seeing a hit there. And when I spoke to an executive at Placer.ai, they're saying that consumers are eating out less frequently or preparing their lunches at home. So it's yet to really be determined.

DAVE BRIGGS: Specifically lunch.

BROOKE DIPALMA: It's specifically lunch, exactly. The number of the visits that these places are seeing are significantly less. Of course, we've seen a lot of companies really go in on their breakfast options. We saw Wendy's do that during the pandemic, because people are perhaps leaving before work, leaving after work. But during that midday, as Grubhub pointed out in the new survey, people are just are not leaving during the day and even skipping lunch. And so hopefully, with this excitement at Grubhub, we'll see what DoorDash, we'll see what Uber Eats does, maybe perhaps setting up some competition.

DAVE BRIGGS: Step up.

BROOKE DIPALMA: Exactly.

SEANA SMITH: I want them to. We want more free lunch.

DAVE BRIGGS: This show does a lot to keep restaurants--

SEANA SMITH: We do.

DAVE BRIGGS: --alive from 11:00 to 2:00. We dine out a lot.

SEANA SMITH: And we do a lot of taste testing, too, right here on set, so.

BROOKE DIPALMA: Absolutely.

DAVE BRIGGS: Next time, bring food. Brooke DiPalma, nice to see you. Thanks so much.

BROOKE DIPALMA: Thank you.

DAVE BRIGGS: That's a great story.