Where do your employees take lunch?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MudslinginFX4, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    For you all that have employees, where do your guys take lunch. Do you make them bring their lunch, or do you allow them to stop every day?

    Currently, some of my guys bring their lunch, and some of them buy their lunch. For the ones that bring it, most of them need a microwave. They also usually buy a bag of chips or a drink from the gas station or where ever the other ones are eating.

    Over the past year, I have noticed more and more time seems to be wasted due to lunch. Some days our accounts are very near a resturant or gas station, but most days the guys are driving 5 or so minutes to lunch, eating lunch for 30 minutes (give or take) and then driving back to the accounts. I give my guys a paid lunch of 30 minutes, this is not the problem. The problem occurs becuase of the extra time it takes to pack up the equipment to get ready for lunch, drive to lunch, talk to other landscaping company employees, eat lunch, and then drive back to the account to unload all of the equipment again to get working.

    Is it wrong for me to inact a new policy starting at the beginning of the year that requires the guys to bring their lunches and drinks? We do have water on the truck in a cooler, but they like soda for lunch. I am seriously thinking about making them bring everything, and then keeping a microwave in the truck with a power inverter that runs off the cig lighter.

    Do you know if this will work?
    Do any of you do this?
    What do they do for the restroom and washing hands?
    Am I just being too overly concerned on time?

    I figure that 6 guys taking an average of 10 or 15 extra minutes per day adds up to be about $20+ dollars a day, $100 a week, $5200 a year. This does not include the extra gas it takes, etc. Am I being too much of a penny pincher?
  2. Lawnmasters

    Lawnmasters LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    NO you are not. My crews usually stay on the job for lunch. If they don't bring lunch, they don't usually eat. They are told that we will most likely be out on a jobsite and may not be close to a store so bring your lunch. If we are traveling from job to job doing maintenance, I don't mind them stopping, I stop myself. But I am not going to allow the whole production to come to a stop, pack up, everybody ride to the store, drive back. It's a total waste of time. If your working in a factory or office you get a set amount of time, why should we be different. And, I don't give paid lunch either, 30 minutes is deducted every day whether it is actually used or not. It averages out due to what you said about driving, taking 30 minutes, etc. Some days I know we take up to an hour for lunch. then some days I go pick up lunch for everybody and buy lunch. It balances
  3. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Well #1 you will fry your battery if you try to run a microwave off of it, they take thousand of watts.

    #2 I let my employees take a paid 30 mins also but I let them take it where ever the reason for this is I do want them to wash their hands before lunch that way they won't get sick which would cost me more money and lost work.

    #3 I don't want them to say they need to go to the bathroom after they had a chance to at lunch. That saves time.

    Some bring there lunch but sometimes eat out.
    I have thought about not paying lunch next year which would keep wasted time down.

    Good luck!
  4. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    we will stop at a store or fast food rest. I like to get it to go that way we can eat while going to the next job. Saves time that way.
  5. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I think I'm going to go to an unpaid lunch system next year, and let them go where they want still.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Why not see what the guys want?? If the consensus is they want to eat out, then maybe give them 45 minutes (unpaid) and see how that works. I agree 30 minutes is pushing it when you have to drive 5 minutes and back.

    I try to eat after 1pm...stopping anywhere around noon is a waste of time, standing in line forever.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    all of mine bring their lunch and drinks for the day
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I had the exact same issue at the beginning of the summer. My initial response was. They work for me they should do as I say during working hours pretty cut and dried No more traveling off site for lunch, then I did a reality check and decided I would rather help them be more efficient. They are not taking long lunches to screw me, they just want their grub.

    So I did similar calculations and realized it would be cheaper for me to buy the lunches rather than to pay for them to drive around. So that was my approach. I bought a big cooler and went to Sam's Club and bought all the stuff for lunch.

    Rather than being negative about a situation I turned it into a positive. I save money, the guys save a few bucks and the time it takes to put a lunch together in the morning. I can add it to a list of benefits when I advertise for new help.

    BTW the Etc. is much higher than you think. When you are dealing with overtime and increased liability with your truck being on the road more, that little Etc, can really add up.
  9. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    I have had a policy of if you bring your lunch and we eat kind of on the go you get paid for every minute you are at work, if we are stopping to run out for lunch you get deducted a 1/2 hour that it takes. I have never actually done this, never had to to one thing I can't complain about is my guys bring lunch because they want to get paid. It's every other minute of the day that I have issues with them!
  10. nc-native

    nc-native LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    The company I work for allows for a one hour lunch break (unpaid). The foreman can run the fellas to the gas station if he so pleases. Get this, we only work four day weeks (Friday if we get rained out) been doing this for years. I'm in heaven.

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