Nutritional information on restaurant menus

Bharath Josiam (Hospitality Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Charles Foster (Hospitality Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 2 October 2009



Dining out is integral to the American lifestyle. Diners want to make informed choices. The purpose of this research is to measure consumers' need for, and attitudes toward, nutritional information (NI) on menus in full‐service restaurants.


Data were collected from 502 participants at a full‐service restaurant on a university campus, through a survey questionnaire. Correlations, ANOVA, and descriptive statistics were utilized for data analysis.


Some market segments would dine out more often in restaurants if NI was made available. Segments concerned about NI are females, those aged 35 to 65, and those belonging to the higher income and college‐educated strata. Consumers eating healthy food at home are more likely to use NI in restaurants, as are those who dine out as a necessity. NI that consumers are most concerned about concerns fat, saturated fat, and trans‐fat.

Research limitations/implications

The current study is limited by a one‐location cross‐sectional design. Future studies should be longitudinal and be conducted in multiple locations.

Practical implications

A deeper understanding of consumers' concern could permit restaurateurs to use NI on menus to their competitive advantage, by effectively deploying a market segmentation strategy.


This research adds new knowledge to the present body of hospitality literature. This paper will assist managers by providing insights into the specifics of the target markets of who needs NI, and the context in which they will use NI on menus.



Josiam, B. and Foster, C. (2009), "Nutritional information on restaurant menus", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 876-891.

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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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