Fda menu labeling, menu labeling, menu, nutritional labeling, calories, quick service restaurant menus, mcdonalds, arbys, taco bell


More than one-third of the U.S. citizens (over 70 million people) and 16% of children are classified as obese and are at risk of many diseases including heart disease. Research indicates that 65% of Americans over the age of twenty years old are considered overweight. To address this public health issue, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has proposed new nutritional guidelines for restaurant menus. Thus, the current study investigated the preferences of quick service restaurant (QSR) industry consumers with reference to the newly proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. This study includes development and redesigning of drive thru menus to comply with the FDA guidelines. A 3x2 factorial design experiment was conducted using real drive thru menus from three major national restaurant chains. The control group consisted of normal drive thru menus obtained from national restaurant chains, and the experimental group was comprised of two sets of pre-tested experimental menus complying with the FDA guidelines. The first set of experimental menus includes presentation of calorie information for all menu items offered. The second set of experimental menus includes color coded calorie specific menu categories (low, regular and high). A set of research hypotheses were developed and data was collected from heavy users of QSR units using Qualtrics software. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS. The obtained results indicated that the QSR menus designed to comply with the FDA’s guidelines do not result in loss of revenues as commonly feared by the restaurant industry. But interestingly the second set of experiment menus with color coded nutritional categories (low, regular, high) have led to increased consumer patronage and consumers’ willingness to pay. In iv addition, color coded nutritional menus were preferred over FDA suggested menus designs. The results from the current study are of significant importance to the QSR industry as they strive to comply with the new nutrition guidelines of FDA for drive thru menus


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Graduation Date





Parsa, H. G.


Master of Science (M.S.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Hospitality Services

Degree Program

Hospitality and Tourism Management








Release Date

August 2013

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Dissertations, Academic -- Hospitality Management, Hospitality Management -- Dissertations, Academic