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Program Web Address

www.unlv.edu/hote

Abstract

Just as all types of business firms are now expected to go beyond their profit-oriented activities in boosting the well-being of the community, so, too, is corporate social responsibility (CSR) expected from foodservice firms. The significance of the obesity epidemic, combined with the foodservice industry's role in the development of this epidemic, suggests that the industry has an ethical responsibility to implement CSR activities that will help reduce obesity, particularly among children. CSR should be seen as an efficient management strategy through which a firm voluntarily integrates social and environmental concerns into its business operations and its interactions with stakeholders. Although costs are associated with CSR initiatives, benefits accrue to the firm. Decisions regarding alternative CSR activities should be based on a cost-benefit analysis and calculation of the present value of the revenue stream that can be identified as resulting from the specific CSR activities. CSR initiatives should be viewed as long-term investments that will enhance the firms’ value. Key areas for foodservice firms' CSR activities include marketing practices, particularly practices impacting advertising to children and marketing that will enhance the firms’ visibility; portion-size modification; new-product development; and consistent nutrition labeling on menus.