Going out for lunch may give workers a break from the office, but it will cost them.
A new survey from Visa (V) shows Americans eat out for lunch an average of twice per week and spend around $10 each outing, averaging $18 a week and adding up to $936 a year.
Men are more likely to eat out and have a 44% higher tab than female lunch goers per week. Of those who eat lunch out, men spend about $21 while women spend under $15.
“The fact that the average American is spending $936 a year is significant,” says Nat Sillin Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education. “On a weekly basis, that may not seem like much, but it does add up.”
Sillin says the income breakdown of the lunch survey showed those making less than $25,000 a year spent more per meal, at $11.70, than those in any other income bracket. Those who earn more than $50,000 a year spend an average of $9.60 per meal, a difference of 22%, Visa reports.
One percent of people spend more than $50 for lunch, nearly $5,000 a year, according to the survey. On the flip side, 30% say they do not buy lunch at all.
People living in the south spend the most on lunch, at an average of $20 a week. Westerners spend about $18 a week eating out 1.8 times, and Midwesterners went out for lunch 1.78 times at $8.90 a meal, or $15.13 a week.
Northeasterners ate lunch out least often, but were more likely to splurge. They ate out 1.5 times a week but spent 14% more per meal, for a weekly total of $17.10, Visa says.