Eating out, nutrition, education and the consumer: A case study from Alabama
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Increasingly, there is agreement that the hospitality industry, particularly the restaurant sector, can significantly impact people's eating behaviour. This impact includes the nutritional intake of meals many restaurants sell that may lead to problems such as the growing obesity epidemic. This preliminary study investigates consumers' attitudes towards their eating out experience as it relates to their reasons for eating out and the importance that nutrition may place in their experience when eating out. Findings suggest differences in consumer attitudes towards these issues based on their gender, educational achievement level and type of restaurant they frequent. Nutritional awareness and education strategies do not appear to be reaching groups that are more exposed and/or more prone to unhealthier food consumption. Overall, consumers do not seem interested in education or involvement in healthier consumption.