The traditional ‘builder’s breakfast’ is on the way to becoming a thing of the past, according to figures released by construction catering specialists Bon Appetit.
Construction workers are increasingly opting for healthy dishes, such as poached eggs or porridge oats, rather than a customary breakfast with one or more fried items.
Bon Appetit, which feeds 30,000 construction workers a day, says the proportion who choose a traditional breakfast has fallen from 81% to 56% over the last ten years. Almost half (44%) now opt for health-conscious menu items such as a freshly prepared omelette with salad or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
“The old-fashioned image of a builder’s breakfast is a bit of a myth,” says Bon Appetit director Antonio Motisi. “Our research shows that construction workers are now choosing to eat fried items in moderation. If current trends continue then the traditional breakfast will soon be overtaken by healthier options.”
The Bon Appetit Group specialises in onsite workforce feeding for large-scale and logistically challenging projects, such as the 2012 London Olympics, Heathrow Airport and Westfield Stratford. Major clients include Berkeley Group, Bouygues, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Lendlease, Mace, and Multiplex.
The trend towards healthier eating has accelerated since the pandemic and includes main meals. Pre-Covid, 75% of construction workers typically chose traditional items such as sausages or burgers. This has now fallen to 52%, with lighter cuisine such as fish and chicken accounting for 48% of overall lunchtime choices.
“There’s an increasing awareness of the importance of good nutrition within the construction sector. A well-fed workforce gets the job done,” said Antonio. “Believe it or not, we also offer a range of Vegan and vegetarian options at most of our construction sites. However, one traditional dish that remains unassailably popular is fish and chips, which accounts for up to 82% of orders at some sites on a Friday.”
Bon Appetit currently provides catering solutions at 30+ infrastructure projects around the UK, including the new prison at Full Sutton in Yorkshire, AstraZeneca in Cambridge, and the new airbase at RAF Lakenheath.