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Restaurant Goers Willing To Pay More To Eat Green, Study Shows

A recent study shows that American consumers may be willing to pay more to dine at "environmentally friendly" restaurants.

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Photo: stevendepolo (flickr)

Nearly all of the participants in the survey agreed that quality of food was most important to them and were unwilling to compromise quality to eat at a greener restaurant.

Researchers at Ohio State University have published a study that found American consumers may be willing to pay more to eat at “environmentally friendly” restaurants.

The study (assisted by The Central Ohio Restaurant Association) asked 455 customers of five Ohio restaurants about their perceptions of green restaurants.

Among the findings:

  • 65% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay 10 percent more to dine at green restaurants (while only 15 percent said they would not be willing to pay more).
  • 70% said it is good for restaurants to protect the environment.

Researchers found that taking steps to protect the environment such as reducing energy usage and waste and using biodegradable or recycled products was of most interest to consumers, followed by the use of organic products and serving locally grown food.

Women and diners under 35 were most likely to believe eating at “green” restaurants would be healthier, while those under 35 also believed that it was important for restaurants to use organic foods and pay fees to reduce their ecological footprints.

Quality Remains Important

Nearly all of the participants in the survey agreed that quality of food was most important to them and were unwilling to compromise quality to eat at a greener restaurant.

Survey participants also expressed confusion about which restaurants were truly “green”. Jay Kandampully, one of the study’s investigators, suggests that “Restaurants that engage in green practices should market themselves that way, using that fact as a competitive edge.”

Read More:

  • Diners May Be Willing To Pay More To Eat At “Green” Restaurants (Press Release)
Adam Schweigert

Adam Schweigert is the Managing Editor and Senior Producer for Earth Eats. He is also the Online Director for Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) and has been with WFIU Public Radio since the fall of 2003, previously serving as Director of Multimedia Initiatives, Music Director and Arts Bureau Chief. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Sydney.

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