Eating out in South Wales: Healthy eating option?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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There has been a vast amount of media attention focusing upon the nations health; Government campaigns have boosted and emphasised the need for '5 a Day', celebrities such as Jamie Oliver have bolstered the urgency for parents and kids to be educated when it comes to good and bad foods, changing the face of school dinners. What has been the underlying theme and foundations upon which these campaigns were built are the severe levels of obesity in the United Kingdom, which left un-acted upon will overtake smoking as a leading preventable death. The aim of this research project was to distinguish and investigate how health conscious the nation is and the implications this has on the hospitality industry. Wood (1992) once said 'Public dining is an integral aspect of urban living and its relative invisibility as a research topic reflects the extent to which food and eating out is a taken-for-granted aspect of everyday life' (cited in Martens & Warde (****). This quote provides the scope for the research project as the author wished to determine the frequency in which people ate out, in order to determine the role in which the hospitality industry has to play in people's diets. It was also of interest to the author to determine the reasons to why people ate out, i.e. for a special occasion, convenience, etc. The author carried out two modes of primary data collection, distributing 100 questionnaires (in which 73 were returned completed) and carried out five interviews with the managers of Good Food Guide 2007 recommended restaurants with in Cardiff city centre. A substantial amount of secondary research was also conducted using various materials such as industry journals, leisure reports, trade magazines and academic literature. The findings of the research were comprised to determine the opinions and views of consumers and current practitioners with in the industry so the author could devise the most fitting recommendations to the audience in the closing chapter. The main findings established that consumers desired healthier eating options with in all venues, and that venues should provide an element of choice. Along with healthier options, consumers also demanded nutritional information in the form of labelling for all menu items, equipping them with the information to select healthier options, and confront the high fat, salt and calorie levels in other menu items. Providing fresh food was an encouraging outcome found from the data collected and a more noticeable practice already being exercised with in the industry. Controversial reasons behind eating out brought to being from the data was the debate between consumers wishing to eat out to indulge and treat oneself or consumers in which incorporated eating out into an everyday leisure activity.
BA (Hons) Hospitality Management with Licensed Premises
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