It's known in the cafe and sandwich bar trade as the 'golden hour' - that lunchtime slot when workers leave their desks and pop out for a sandwich or a sweet treat, providing peak footfall for businesses.
And yesterday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was encouraging employers to bring back workers to offices in England next month, some cafe and sandwich deli owners in Belfast city centre were also appealing for the Executive to follow suit.
Kieran Sloan, owner of Sawers Deli in the Fountain Centre, said it was clear if offices do not reopen soon, it is going to have a "devastating" impact on the city.
"We're hearing from people coming in that there's one or two people in an office which used to have 30, and this is happening on all the floors," he explained.
"Some of them are saying that they're not returning back to September, even January. We're also hearing rumours that some office buildings are going to be sold.
"It's going to be devastating for Belfast city centre. We call it the 'golden hour' - 12noon to 2.30 - our peak trading during the week. We've been talking to other cafe owners and they want office workers back.
"Our landlords have been great, we had three months free, which was amazing, but now the rent bills are returning.
"(At the start of the lockdown) we changed the business to online and it was doing really well, but now we're out of lockdown we need that footfall back again."
He also stressed that should masks become mandatory to enter shops, it could hit traders in the pocket.
"How is it going to be enforced", he asked, pointing out that Sawers is part deli (which would be exempt from the wearing of masks for customers as an outlet serving food) and grocery store, which would require face coverings.
"We're trying to grab every bit of business that we can. Nobody has been given clear guidance." He added that he believed the wearing of masks should be done on a voluntary basis.
"It's about being sensible, keeping social distancing. We're cleaning all the time," added Kieran.
Annette McQuillan, who helps run a family business that owns Blinkers cafe in Bridge Street and the nearby Strikes restaurant, said they had made the difficuly decision not to reopen their third outlet, Caffe Uno, due to the impact of the lockdown.
"It was the final straw and now we have 29 staff we're trying to redeploy between the remaining two businesses," she explained.
"And obviously we're trying to minimise the amount of customers we're having in due to social distancing."
She said that office workers would account for 40% of their trade on weekdays. "It's very, very difficult. I don't think the city centre is going to recover any time soon, in terms of footfall," added Annette.
Nearby at Mikey's Deli, manager Roisin Robertson said they had managed to keep their loyal customer base by teaming up with Just Eat, which allows customers to order food for delivery via an app.
"We've still had our office workers, it's just they're making orders to have food delivery to their homes," she said.
"It's helped us a lot and now we're getting busier and busier."
However, at Taboo Donuts in Ann Street white collar trade is being missed, said manager Marie Moylan.
"Office workers are a big part of our customer base, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. We've been open here for the past two years. Usually on a Friday we're packed out with office workers," explained Marie.
"We would feel it as a business if employers didn't bring back their staff to the offices.
"We would have office staff buy big boxes of 12 donuts to have as a Friday treat. Some would even buy a few boxes of donuts."
Meanwhile Tony Rice, manager of Thyme Deli in Church Lane, said it is concerning if office buildings do not welcome back staff.
"If offices don't reopen then trade will go down. It is worrying. We've been reopened two, three weeks and trade's down 40%. I think if schools all go back, then everything else will go back to normal, and that will help," he said.