Lonely Planet Writer

Pay for your lunch with exercise (and kick-start your New Year's resolutions) at this London pop-up

Many pop-ups are focused on celebrating the delicious treats we all love – like Cadbury Eggs, KitKat and Ferrero Rocher. But since this is the month of New Year’s resolutions, a new pop-up in London will let people pay for their meal with exercise.

Pay for your food with exercise.
Pay for your food with exercise. Image by Lisa Stokes/Getty Images

Run For Your Bun, which will be open in London from 11 to 13 January, is billed as the world’s first café that takes exercise as payment. The pop-up is part of a campaign by David Lloyd Clubs, a fitness club chain, to encourage sedentary office workers to get moving. According to the company, the average officer worker says 90% of their working day sitting down, and 28% of British office workers eat lunch at their desks every working day.

Pay for your food with exercise.
Pay for your food with exercise. Image by Run For Your Bun Cafe

In an effort to encourage people to exercise, customers at the café will have to complete a six-minute work-out under the guidance of the cafés’ personal trainers, and then pick a complimentary lunch from the menu to eat-in or takeaway. The high-intensity interval training includes one-minute on a rowing machine, one minute on a spin bike and one minute on a treadmill, as well as 60 seconds of sit-ups, body-weight squats and lunges, with 30-second rest periods between each exercise – meaning that most people can at least make an attempt at it.

And naturally, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a variety of lunch choices, including: smashed avocado with cherry tomatoes, goats’ cheese, chilli and lime on toasted wholemeal bread; giant couscous with apricots, raisins, pine nuts, lemon, coriander and fresh basil with a balsamic dressing; grilled chicken breast burger with tomato, red onion and garlic mayo; and pita pockets with mixed salad and a choice of smoked salmon or grilled halloumi filling.

The café is located at 3 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, London. It will be open to public from 12 to 3 pm from Wednesday to Friday and customers are advised to bring a gym kit.