The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Consumer Evaluation of Nutrition Information Disclosure by Retail Restaurants

Journal of Business Ethics 130 (2):313-326 (2015)
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Research examining consumer responses to the provision of nutritional information as part of restaurant menus has produced mixed results. In light of pending legislation requiring the provision of nutritional information, the authors examine the how corporate social responsibility impacts consumer service evaluation of restaurants. Findings from three studies demonstrate that the relationship between consumer attitudes toward the disclosure of nutrition information and their subsequent evaluation of the food provider is impacted by CSR-related initiatives. Studies one and two find that consumer evaluations are enhanced when the firm has an existing reputation for CSR and when the firm includes healthy product options as part of the introduction of the nutritional information. Study 3 finds these effects are particularly strong with fast-food restaurants. Overall, the findings suggest that, for some firms, the introduction of the legislation provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships with customers and gain advantage over some competitors.



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