Sustainable restaurants: A research agenda

DOI: 10.2989/RHM.2016.
Author(s): George JacobsResearch Centre Gastronomy in Food Service, The Netherlands, Peter KlosseResearch Centre Gastronomy in Food Service, The Netherlands


There is growing emphasis on sustainability within the hospitality industry. For restaurants, which are often small businesses, that emphasis is poorly structured and rarely based on scientific evidence. Research is needed into what factors could promote sustainability in restaurants. We propose three distinct fields within that research. The first field concerns the restaurant as a product supplier. What factors promote or obstruct restaurant owners in coming up with a sustainable menu? Within this field, it is essential to look at the motivation, opportunities and abilities that they possess, both internally and externally. The second field is about demand. What is the role of sustainability in a guest’s choice of restaurant and satisfaction with the menu? Existing research models for looking at consumer behaviour can be useful for this. The third field concerns the product itself: how sustainable is the restaurant’s offering? This question can be answered with a simplified and adapted life cycle assessment (LCA). Research into these fields should help strengthen the hospitality industry and make its products more sustainable.

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