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What Have We Done to Lunch?

From the Automat to Sweetgreen Outpost, grabbing a bite during the workday has long sacrificed human contact and flavor to value and efficiency.
Who wants a salad?
Who wants a salad?Sarah Holder/CityLab/Shutterstock

A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the  death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to ‘influencers’—millennials in Untuckit shirts,” he wrote. The new Masters of the Universe preferred “picking at salads at their desks.”

But if you define the power in “power lunch” more like the power in “power walk”—an activity defined by arm-pumping and joyless, ruthless efficiency—Cuozzo’s wrong. Millennials have that kind of power lunch mastered.