About Us  |  About Cheetah®  |  Contact Us

Survey finds American workers spend an average of $3000 a year on coffee and lunch at work

American workers spend an alarmingly high amount of their hard earned cash on somewhat average daily expenses, according to a new Workonomix survey by Accounting Principals. The survey found that 50 percent of the American workforce spends approximately $1000 a year on coffee, or a weekly coffee habit of more than $20. And the spending doesn’t stop there. Two thirds (66 percent) of working Americans buy their lunch instead of packing it, costing them an average of $37 per week — nearly $2,000 a year.

Despite these high costs, the survey suggests workers are unclear about the biggest drain to their wallet. When asked which work expense they most want to be reimbursed for by their employer, 42 percent of employees chose commuting costs and only 11 percent chose lunch expenses. However, the average American’s commuting cost is $123 a month or approximately $1500 a year, which is well below the average annual lunch tab of $2000.

“Small — but consistent — expenses add up quickly over time, and it can be difficult for consumers to realize it because they’re only spending a few dollars at a time. But, as our survey shows, those few dollars can quickly turn into a few thousand dollars,” said Jodi Chavez, senior vice president, Accounting Principals. “Additionally, when you look at it over a worker’s lifetime, that number grows exponentially. Consider the average American who works for about 40 years, starting their first job around age 22. By the time they retire at age 62 they would have spent at minimum $120,000 on coffee and lunch, not including inflation.”

This is especially true for young American workers. The survey found that younger professionals (ages 18-34) spend almost twice as much on coffee during the week than those ages 45+ ($24.74 vs. $14.15, respectively). They also shell out more for lunch, spending an average of $44.78 per week on lunch compared to their older colleagues who spend $31.80 per week. However, it seems American workers of all ages are starting to realize the effect this incremental spending has on their personal bottom line. According to the survey, one-third (35 percent) of employees have made it a financial goal to bring lunch instead of buying it in 2012.

Other survey findings include:

  • Better food and coffee in the office might help cut back personal spending. Perhaps because of how much they’re spending outside the office, American workers would like companies to invest in better food and drinks in the office. One-quarter (25 percent) of Americans wish their company would invest in better vending machine snacks and 22 percent of American workers would like their company to invest in better coffee in the office.
  • Employers should focus on the “simple pleasures” to keep employees happy. Although better food and drinks would be a plus, employees most want to see their companies invest in better office equipment (46 percent) and more comfortable office chairs (32 percent) in 2012.
  • Corporate discounts do not factor into employees’ purchase decisions. Companies looking to attract new candidates shouldn’t focus on corporate discounts as a selling point. The majority (82 percent) of employees say corporate discounts matter little or not at all when buying a new product or service.

“As the recovery gains momentum and companies look to attract and retain talent, they should consider worrying less about big-ticket discounts and focus instead on what will impact their employees’ happiness every day,” said Chavez. “Small improvements around the office, such as better equipment, food and drinks, can make a big difference in workers’ morale. After all it is often the little things in life that tend to make people the happiest.”

Source: Accounting Principals; www.accountingprincipals.com.

DoorDash delivery driver must arbitrate claim that independent contractor classification improper

April 30th, 2018

By Ronald Miller, J.D.
Because the delivery drivers for DoorDash, a food delivery service, signed an arbitration agreement with a valid delegation clause, a driver was compelled to arbitrate his claims that they were misclassified as independent contractors, ruled the Fifth Circuit. The appeals court applied its 2016 ruling in Reyna v. International Bank of Commerce, [Read more...]

Employee allegedly denied suitable space to pump breastmilk advances FLSA, Title VII claims

April 30th, 2018

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
A fire department employee who alleged she was not provided with required, appropriate space to pump breastmilk in each of the stations where she was assigned while lactating will proceed with some, but not all, of her FLSA and Title VII claims, a federal district court in Arizona concluded. Genuine issues [Read more...]

Fox contributor not an employee, can’t pursue sexual harassment claims

April 27th, 2018

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
A regular contributor for a Fox news show who alleged that she was raped and coerced into a long-term sexual relationship with a Fox anchor, and then blacklisted and defamed after she ended it, will not be able to proceed with her sexual harassment claims, a federal district court in New [Read more...]

Conspiracy-blogger professor not entitled to new trial on First Amendment retaliation claim

April 27th, 2018

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Denying post-trial motions by a former Florida Atlantic University professor after a jury found his termination was unrelated to the exercise of his First Amendment rights—he claimed his termination was motivated by his personal blog postings on mass shootings, particularly his claim that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax—a federal court [Read more...]

Sales rep who planned to compete with employer can’t revive FMLA claims, but counterclaims against her are reversed

April 26th, 2018

By Lisa Milam-Perez, J.D.
A sales rep who took FMLA leave to attend a training for a competing franchise she had set up with her husband was unable to revive her claim her employer interfered with her FMLA rights by offering to let her service existing clients during her FMLA leave so that she could continue [Read more...]