Executive-only meals serve as a "communications nexus"

Corporate meals involving just executive level serve an important purpose and should be encouraged, it has been claimed.

Writing for hbr.org, management author and managing partner of Strategic Offsites Group Bob Frisch labelled such dinners a “communications nexus” where critical discussions can take place and potential plans shared.

He accepted that an unrestricted dining room is more democratic, but suggested that if executives are allowed to gather together in corporate venues or some other separated space they could work more efficiently.

Reflecting on his own executive dining room experiences, Mr Frisch remarked: “Conversation at our table would often start with a discussion of the previous day’s golf tournament or football game, a recently viewed movie, or a just-completed holiday. But invariably the talk turned to business.”

This type of dining space is not popular currently and he pointed out that there are few calls for them to return, despite their advantages. However, even though executive-only lunches may be less common, overall demand for eating out at lunchtime is strong, according to new research.

Hotel-industry.co.uk reported on a study by food service analyst Horizons, which revealed that the UK lunch market is worth around £14.9 billion and looks set to grow further. Currently, it makes up 35 per cent of the country’s food service market, but this is expected to climb to 36 per cent by 2014.