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Diners may be willing to pay more to eat at 'green' restaurants

COLUMBUS, Ohio Many U.S. restaurants may be ignoring a desire by American consumers to dine at environmentally friendly restaurants, according to a small exploratory study.

Researchers found that more than 8 out of 10 restaurant patrons surveyed in Columbus said they would be willing to pay more to dine at "green" restaurants. More than 7 out of 10 said it was good for restaurants to protect the environment.

The only problem is that very few restaurants market themselves as "green" or environmentally friendly, said Jay Kandampully, co-author of the study and professor of consumer sciences at Ohio State University.

"It is clear that green practices could be beneficial for restaurants. Customers want their restaurants to be environmentally friendly and say they're willing to pay more for it," Kandampully said.

"It would be a shame if restaurants don't make use of that support."

The study appeared in a recent issue of the journal Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Kandampully and his colleagues surveyed 455 customers of five independent casual dining restaurants in Columbus. Customers were asked a variety of questions about their perceptions of green restaurants.

The results made it clear that restaurant customers are intrigued by the possibility of environmentally friendly restaurants, said Franziska Schubert, a study co-author who conducted the research while a graduate student at Ohio State.

"We thought there would be some interest in green restaurants, but this showed an overwhelming interest in the concept and a willingness to pay for it," Schubert said.

About 65 percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay up to 10 percent more to dine at green restaurants, and 20 percent would be willing to pay even more. Only about 15 percent said they would not be willing to pay any more to eat at an environmentally friendly restaurant.

About 70 percent said it i

Contact: Jay Kandampully
Ohio State University

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