Research Article| Volume 53, ISSUE 3, P223-231, March 2021

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Foodservice Management Educators’ Perspectives on Nutrition and Menu Planning in Student-Operated Restaurants



      Explore how student-operated restaurant (SOR) managers consider and apply nutrition principles and menu planning in SORs.


      Nineteen SOR managers in the US were recruited to complete an online survey and participate in a 30–60-minute interview. Interviews were conducted via video conference and explored the menu and nutritional characteristics of the SOR at each facility.


      SORs across the US.


      Managers of SORs.

      Phenomenon of Interest

      Menu and nutrition characteristics and their use in SORs.


      Demographic data were analyzed using SPSS. Thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo software.


      Thematic analysis revealed nutrition in practice, nutrition philosophy, and menu planning as the 3 major themes. Nutrition in practice captured the role of nutrition in menu planning, special diets, and healthy options. Nutrition philosophy subthemes explored issues such as the purpose of the SOR experience and instructor perspective on nutrition. Menu planning subthemes addressed issues regarding the menu development process, including menu planning that was student-driven and faculty-driven.

      Conclusions and Applications

      Approaches to menu planning had varying degrees of student involvement. Although nutrition was stated as a consideration in menu planning, most programs did not include formalized nutrition criteria as part of the SOR curriculum.

      Key Words

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