Starbucks’ big bet on lunch could steal diners from Panera

The restaurant industry is in trouble and lunch could be to blame.

For brands like Starbucks, luring in customers in the wee morning hours is an easy feat, with enticing breakfast menus and drinks packed with caffeine. Keeping diners coming through the door after 11 a.m. is another story entirely, however.

But, the coffee giant has a plan.

Lunch represents 33 percent of total food-service industry traffic, according to the NPD Group. However, lunch traffic has been in decline over the last few years, with fewer people showing up at restaurants for lunch.

As more people eat at their desks or opt to brown bag their meal to save money, restaurants have to get creative to get folks to visit their stores. For some, the answer has been catering and delivery. Others have begun to offer cheap and convenient options that can be scooped up and brought back to the office.

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