Tourism and Hospitality Management (Dec 2012)

Study on some factors for healthy nutrition environment in restaurants in Southwestern Bulgaria

  • Ludmila Ivanova ,
  • Julieta Trifonova ,
  • Ilinka Terziyska

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18, no. 2
pp. 259 – 266


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The purpose – The purpose of the study is to conduct a regional survey in tourist companies in Southwestern Bulgaria for examining some key factors for building/forming a healthy nutrition environment. Design – The special focus is given to analysis of the key factors for creating healthy nutrition environment in restaurants. Methodology – A cross sectional survey conducted including 34 respondents from 120 operating hotels with restaurants in Southwestern Bulgaria and 30 independent restaurants in Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil and Samokov – the three main towns in the area. The level of knowledge on healthy nutrition and healthy foods was assessed using a 5-rank scale and the healthy practices was conducted in the aspects: availability of healthy options, point-of-purchase information to facilitate healthy choices and promotion and communication of healthy foods. Approach- Implementation of healthy eating practice is studied in restaurants as the restaurant is one of the most important public places that form a healthy nutrition environment and create conditions for implementation of initiatives to support healthy food choices. Findings – It is indicated that the management staff of the surveyed tourist companies shows good level of knowledge and awareness on healthy nutrition issues. Despite good theoretical knowledge, however, the implementation of healthy practices in the restaurant business is insufficiently developed. There is no clear concept for introduction of healthy eating practice in restaurants and there is no active communication with the client in this regard either. The main conclusion focuses on the need of collaboration between nutrition specialists, academic institutions in tourism, and restaurant and hotel entrepreneurs to implement the principles of healthy eating in out-of-home settings. The originality of this research – The originality of the study lies in the fact that for the first time in Bulgaria the preconditions for the formation of a healthy environment in restaurants are explored.