In a recent survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Bureau Veritas among over 2,000 US adults ages 18+, regarding food safety and restaurants, 79 percent of Americans indicate that they avoid eating at restaurants that they know have had previous health and food safety violations. “Consumers seem to be more educated about their choices,” said Jorge Hercules, vice president of certification at Bureau Veritas North America. “This survey reminds us that the consumer is clearly in control of choice, and food chains have very little room for error related to safety in their operations.”
The poll also found that nearly two in five Americans (38%) consider a strong food safety track record to be among the most important factors in choosing a restaurant. Here is how consumers ranked factors related to restaurant choice:
- Quality of food (85%)
- Price of food (69%)
- Location (63%)
- Recommendations from family/friends (49%)
- Strong food safety track record (38%)
- Positive reviews on social media (26%)
- Child-friendly (15%)
- Sustainably sourced food (12%)
- Ability to meet dietary restrictions (10%)
To minimize potential negative impact on brand integrity and revenue, national and local food chains are placing greater emphasis on improving their food safety processes through the application of technology and employee training. “We are excited to be partnering with Bureau Veritas to increase our monitoring of food safety through digital technology and processes,” said Tim Hughes, Regional Corporate Chef at Fig & Olive. “It gives me even greater confidence that we are properly managing food safety across our different locations while reducing the amount of time spent doing paperwork. Fig & Olive is committed to using fresh, simple, and classic ingredients prepared in a contemporary style to reinvent traditional Mediterranean cuisine — and the safety of our ingredients is imperative.”
From a generational perspective, those in the silent generation — born between 1925 and 1942 — a strong majority seem to be influenced in their eatery choices by food safety issues, with 85 percent claiming to avoid eating at restaurants that they know have had previous health and food safety violations. Not far behind, 77 percent of millennials (ages 22-40) and 78 percent of baby boomers (ages 53-71) make the same claim.
For more information about SafeOps, visit http://www.bureauveritas.com/home/safeops.