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Published by: Marian on Jun 26, 2013
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 Restaurant Industry Sustainability:Barriers and Solutions to Sustainable Practice Indicators byEmily McConnell FreemanA Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillmentof the Requirements for the DegreeMasters of ScienceApproved April 2011 by theGraduate Supervisory Committee:Hallie Eakin, Co-Chair George Basile, Co-Chair Eric WilliamsARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITYMay 2011
 ABSTRACTRestaurants have a cumulative impact on the environment, economy, and society.The majority of restaurants are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Review of sustainability and industry literature revealed that considering restaurants as businesses with sustainable development options is the most appropriate way toevaluate their sustainable practices or lack thereof. Sustainable development is themeans by which a company progresses towards achieving an identified set of sustainability goals and harnesses competitive advantage. The purpose of thisthesis is to identify barriers to implementing sustainable practices in restaurants,and explore ways that restaurateurs can incorporate sustainable business practices.Energy consumption, water use, waste production, and food throughput are thefour sustainability indicators addressed in this thesis. Interviews were conductedwith five Tempe, Arizona restaurants, two of which consider their operations to be sustainable, and three of which are traditional restaurants. Results show that for traditional restaurants, the primary barriers to implementing sustainable business practices are cost, lack of awareness, and space. For sustainability-marketedrestaurants, the barriers included a lack of knowledge or legal concerns. Thesustainability-marketed restaurants have energy-efficient equipment and locallysource a majority of their food purchases. There is a marked difference betweenthe two types of restaurants in perception of barriers to sustainable business practices. I created a matrix to identify whether each indicator metric wasapplicable and present at a particular restaurant, and the potential barriers toi
 implementing sustainable practices in each of the four indicator areas. Restaurantscan use the assessment matrix to compare their current practices with sustainable practices and find ways to implement new or enhance existing sustainable practices. Identifying the barriers from within restaurants increases our understanding of the reasons why sustainable practices are not automaticallyadopted by SMEs. The assessment matrix can help restaurants overcome barriersto achieving sustainability by highlighting how to incorporate sustainable business practices.ii

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