Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



Growing interest in nutrition and health and the increase in the number of people eating away from home gives power and responsibility to retail foodservice operators. Employees of hotels, restaurants, and other food service establishments are in an important position to influence and impact the diet of the general public since they cook, recommend, and serve customers who visit their institutions. Healthful foods are available, and chefs would benefit from nutritional guidance. The escalating importance of foodservice establishments as the main distribution sites for Americans’ meals highlights the importance of the chef’s role in preparing and providing healthful food consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). Review of current literature indicates that there is very little research on the meals served to employees in the food and hospitality industry while on the job and whether these employees who prepare and serve the public meals are aware of the elements of a healthy meal. The goals of this study were dual in nature. The first goal was to assess the nutrition quality of the meals served in a hotel employee cafeteria. The second goal was to determine the nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of employees of the Sheraton New Orleans hotel (SNO), and their perception of the quality of the meals they are served in the employee dining room (EDR), as well as an interview with the chef to determine his menu planning strategies, food preparation practices, attitude toward nutrition and his perception of the healthful quality of the SNO hotel meals. Results from this study suggest that the meals served in the SNO employee cafeteria generally met the recommendations of the DGA. The meals were varied, met the recommendations on proportions of the major nutrients, but were relatively high in fat content. The results also suggested that employees in the SNO were aware of the components of healthy nutritious meals but generally chose their meals based on taste rather than nutritional quality. Many participants perceived healthy nutritional practices as expensive and time consuming.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Evelina Cross



Included in

Human Ecology Commons