Foodservice with a side of responsibility: the challenges of implementing corporate social responsibility in the hospitality sector

Cross, Peter (2017) Foodservice with a side of responsibility: the challenges of implementing corporate social responsibility in the hospitality sector. In: 2nd COOK & Health Scientific Symposium, 02 Mar 2017, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Price and quality are the most important areas for food businesses and their customers' (DEFRA, 2015). However, media coverage of food issues, such as the Tesco's Horsemeat scandal, is forcing food businesses to look closer at the responsible management of their supply chains. It is now becoming increasingly important for restaurants, hotels and contract caterers to demonstrate responsible practices across the supply chain (Maloni and Brown, 2006; Porter & Kramer, 2006; Steger, Ionescu-Somers and Salzmann, 2007). Many larger businesses convey good practice through annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports focusing on areas of such as: food traceability, healthy eating, food allergies, food waste etc…., thus potentially improving their foodservice practices in these areas.
However, smaller companies, which make up 94% of the food business sector (DEFRA, 2015), must rely on third party accreditation at an extra cost, thus discouraging their participation in the reporting of responsible practices. There are numerous third party initiatives and the established certifications mainly focusing on one stage or area of the supply chain i.e., organic, fair-trade, calories displayed on the menu, scores on the doors, etc… Many researchers have found that the standard model of CSR (Society, Environment, and Economic) cannot be applied to food businesses (Forsman‐Hugg et al, 2013; Maloni and Brown, 2006). Forsman‐Hugg et al, (2013) conducted a number of stakeholder workshops with food business owners which found additional areas that need to be addressed when applying CSR to food, such as: local market presence, nutrition, product safety and animal welfare. The study looked at applying CSR to the entire supply chain, which requires collaboration from many parties and was found to be complex and time consuming (Forsman‐Hugg et al, 2013).
It can be argued that applying CSR to the ‘cooking and serving’ link in the food supply chain will have the most impact, as it is the chef who orders the food from the suppliers and writes the menus for the customers. More investment and research should be placed into the development of a recognised holistic framework not more individual certifications with focus on the 'cooking and serving' link within the foodservice operation. Personalised frameworks should be tailored to the many different styles of foodservice operation with focus on critical control points, key performance indicators and metrics to enable the monitoring of “responsible business performance".

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Subjects: Hospitality and tourism > Culinary arts > Food service operations
Depositing User: Peter Cross
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2017 08:32
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:23


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