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Industry is top for business lunches

Financial services professionals spend more time having business lunch than any other profession, according to a survey by restaurant chain Pizza Express.

The survey found that people in the financial services industry attend business lunches or dinners an average of 45 times a year, narrowly ahead of media workers, who average 42.

But despite famous lunchers such as the five former employees of Barclays Capital who spent £44,000 on lunch in July 2001 and were sacked in February 2002, it is not financial services workers who are the biggest spenders.

This honour falls to the media, with an average spend of £35 a head compared with £26 a head among financial services employees.

The survey found that 78 per cent of financial services networking takes place at sporting events. Other favourites are 70 per cent in bars, 41 per cent at the theatre, 38 per cent on the golf course or clubhouse and 12 per cent in the gym. Eighty-six per cent rejected the idea that any networking takes place in strip clubs.

Pizza Express interviewed 500 employees at management level or above across five business sectors – financial services, media, IT and telecoms, law and manufacturing and engineering.

Managing director David Sykes says: “Networking seems to be the cog in the wheel in helping a business grow as well as keeping it in the front of the mind for business associates.”

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