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Attitudes and orientation toward vegetarian food in the restaurant industry: An operator's perspective

Manuel Rivera (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Amir Shani (Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Eilat, Israel)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 30 September 2013




The current paper aims to explore the attitudes of decision makers in restaurants in Puerto Rico toward vegetarian food, and examine the restaurants' orientation toward vegetarianism and the challenges they face in catering to vegetarian patrons.


A survey instrument was developed to include 21 items representing the various attitudes and views toward vegetarian food; restaurant characteristics; and participant's demographic information. A total of 92 face-to-face structured interviews were conducted among various independent family restaurants located in the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The findings suggest that although the participants certainly recognize the value of vegetarian food for their restaurants, they are still unaware or uninformed about many issues related to vegetarianism and vegetarian customers. Moreover, the study also raises some worrying concerns as to the attentiveness of restaurants to the needs of vegetarians.


The study raised important practical implications for restaurants in San Juan and, potentially, for restaurants in other destinations that share the same challenges. Perhaps the most important implication that emerges is the need to educate the decision makers in restaurants (i.e. owners, managers and chefs) regarding critical issues related to vegetarians and vegetarian food.



Rivera, M. and Shani, A. (2013), "Attitudes and orientation toward vegetarian food in the restaurant industry: An operator's perspective", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1049-1065.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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