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The results of a new US study confirm a rising trend among consumers today: diners are more likely to choose a restaurant that provides nutritional information and healthy menu options.
Those are the conclusions of a joint study published in The International Journal of Hospitality Management, conducted out of Penn State and the University of Tennessee.
To conduct their study, researchers presented respondents with different scenarios including the presence or absence of healthy food options and nutritional information. They were then questioned about their perception of the restaurant’s social responsibility and their willingness to patronise the eatery.
After collecting survey answers from 277 participants, researchers concluded that respondents looked favourably on restaurants that provided nutritional information and served healthy dishes, perceiving the restaurateur as "socially responsible."
Transparent restaurants also gained favour among respondents regardless of their level of health-consciousness.
The latest study builds on previous research that found customers were more likely to make healthier food choices at full-service restaurants when menus included nutritional labelling.
Published last year in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, that study found customers armed with nutritional information purchased foods with 151 fewer calories, 244 milligrams less sodium and 3.7 grams less saturated fats compared to customers at restaurants without menu labels.