Lunch Breaks - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 03-22-2016, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Lunch Breaks

I'm new to this board but so happy I found it! I have had so many questions since starting my business and felt like I have no one to turn to!

I've had a cleaning company for about 2 years now with 6 employees. We work in an urban area so our day starts around 8am and I am driving and dropping the teams off to different apartments all day. My question for other companies is what do you do for lunch breaks? Our office is about 15 minutes away so it doesn't seem cost or time effective to drive the team 15 minutes back to the office-eat for 20 minutes and then drive 15 minutes back out to get into the field. It wastes close to an hour mid day. Do most companies just require employee's to bring bag lunches and they eat in the car between cleanings? Some of our employees want to be able to heat up their lunches-but thats not an option when we are out on the go. Is it okay to just say unfortunately you have to bring a lunch that can be consumed in the car or at picnic tables when its nice out? Trying to make the best decision so everyone is happy!
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post #2 of Old 06-01-2016, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: OKC
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We eat on the road. i would recommend bringing lunch as it sounds you are strapped for time. But whatever decision made, i would be stern with it..
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post #3 of Old 06-03-2016, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Good question! I would talk with the team and come up with some ideas, then decide as a team. This way everybody feels like they had a say even if it's not what they wanted.
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post #4 of Old 06-05-2016, 04:48 AM
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We allow 2 different possibilities that the team lead must decided based on the employees needs:

#1. If all employees brought a lunch - Eat in the parking lot, use clients microwave if necessary, DO NOT EAT INSIDE CLIENTS BUILDING - they all bring lawn chairs and eat together.

#2. If 1 or more employees didn't bring a lunch - they are allowed to drive thru a fast food establishment that's on the path to the next clients building and eat in the clients parking lot - Employee's are on the clock until they are parked at the clients parking lot.

All employee's get a 30 minute lunch and they usually eat around 1am. They police have questioned them numerous times wondering why they are all sitting in lawn chairs in a parking lot in front of a building in the middle of the night.

But this is what works best for me, my employees & are type of business.
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post #5 of Old 06-09-2016, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 39
30 minute lunch break. Everyone can use it as they see fit. Simple.

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post #6 of Old 07-18-2016, 07:19 PM
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I agree

I have to agree with Julia, You shouldnt have to babysit. 30 minutes for lunch or whatever you agree on and they do whatever they want as long as its not inside the customers building. I worked construction for many years and it was pretty much every man for himself at lunch.

Originally Posted by allcitycleaning View Post
30 minute lunch break. Everyone can use it as they see fit. Simple.

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tracyWV is offline  
post #7 of Old 07-19-2016, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
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A lunch or other meal period is an approved period of time in a nonpay and nonwork status that interrupts a basic workday or a period of overtime work for the purpose of permitting employees to eat or engage in permitted personal activities
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post #8 of Old 07-22-2016, 09:12 PM
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First of all, congratulations on your success. I know it can feel so stressful and scary at times so I am glad you have found a place to come for peace of mind.

Second, what a great question. The truth is you are not required by law to provide a lunch break (I know many people think you are, but federal law does not mandate it) HOWEVER consider not only what is best for profits but what is best for employee moral.

I will say that I agree with the previous posters who suggested speak with the employees about it. At the end of the day you want to find a win win situation and you really need to hear what they would consider a win to accomplish that.

I will offer that in my window cleaning business, the guys eat 90% of their meals in the truck. They can stop and get food anywhere they feel like but the customers are expecting them at their residence or business at a specific time and that really does need to be met so it is up to them how they get that done. Now we also allow for time to eat when we are scheduling the jobs which is important to consider as well.

I hope this helps

Best of luck,
IFSG is offline  
post #9 of Old 07-23-2016, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 42
I agree with the 30 minute lunch break. You could bring lunches to your employees during the day. This may be time consuming for you but it would give you a great opportunity to see how well they are doing.

Last edited by brownieboy; 07-23-2016 at 09:52 PM.
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post #10 of Old 08-03-2016, 11:56 PM
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I agree with a standard 30-minute lunch, wherever that is. Maybe a shared cooler in the vehicle would be nice?

Also, I know a few coffee shops around here have an available to use a microwave. If you could find something like that at an ideal location that may work too.
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post #11 of Old 08-07-2016, 10:48 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Stamford, CT
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I'm a big believer in giving my employees an option. They take their 30 minute break, or they could take a bag lunch with them to get paid while eating. In my experience, most of my workers choose the bag lunch and are happy to being paid while they eat.

Carpet Cleaners Stamford Business Owner, Proud Father of 3 crazy girls, and Mountain Biking Enthusiast.
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post #12 of Old 08-08-2016, 07:30 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Canada
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A 30 minutes lunch break sounds good.

Camroon65 is offline  
post #13 of Old 10-26-2019, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 37
As for me, it is rather complicated to find time and place for lunch when you are in town or do your business. But the caviar from sandwich is the best solution for me in any situation. As I get enough useful elements for the further several hours. And it is too tasty.
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post #14 of Old 10-27-2019, 10:19 AM
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LOL! I don't take a lunch break. I do bring my lunch with me. After I get to know a new customer I ask if they would mind if I ate a bite or two as I work. They always say yes and usually say "of course." But if I cleaned offices, I doubt I would do this, since I would be around many other people.
Personally I think the WORST thing a cleaning person can do is be on their cell phone. That sends a very negative message to customers, and you wont be seen as professional. I will give you an example. Our current US Mail person is ALWAYS yakking on her phone when she delivers the mail. And she often makes mistakes. Duh! She is not concentrating on her job, and shorting the US Mail and customers. I have reported this twice but nothing happens. Really unprofessional!
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