Power lunches reclaim their status in New York's corporate world

The "power lunch" is back— at least that’s the word among New York’s business elite and some of the restaurants that cater to them. 

Andrew Rigie with the New York City Hospitality Alliance says the power lunch "is when people are going to top restaurants, [there are] big clients, big things at stake."

Andrew Rigie says anecdotally he’s hearing that the power lunch is back in a powerful way. 

And according to OpenTable, restaurant dining between noon and 1 pm has jumped 4% year over year nationwide. When you focus squarely on New York City— lunches are up 21% — more than any other city.  

Brian Lichtenstein—who works in real estate and describes his career as a "person to person" business— was having a business lunch at Kyma Hudson Yards on a recent Thursday afternoon.

"The most important thing is you get to see a person face to face spend time with them and hear about each other's lives," Lichtenstein said. 

Kyma’s general Manager Nicholas Pagonis says the crowds have definitely picked up, especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when more office employees tend to be in-office rather than remote. 

He feels like it’s about as close as New York City has gotten to a complete return to normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"You have that more personal feel to it," Pagonis said. "You see them in the flesh instead of a camera lens or from a computer."

"When people are making these business deals, or they're having high-level meetings," said Rigie, "it's much preferable to do it in a great restaurant than it is to just do it on Zoom or to do it in an office somewhere."