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Environmental sustainability in restaurants. A systematic review and future research agenda on restaurant adoption of green practices

The restaurant industry faces significant challenges in terms of environmental sustainability, including food waste, plastic waste, emissions, and high water and energy consumption. This paper presents a systematic review of the literature on green practices in restaurants and outlines a future research agenda. The review highlights the need for restaurants to adopt environmentally friendly and energy-efficient operations to mitigate their impact on the environment. It also explores the growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible dining experiences. The review identifies a relatively new and emerging area of research, with limited studies focused on green practices in restaurants. However, there has been an increase in research examining various aspects of green restaurants, including the role of top management, employees, and customers, as well as the sources of environmental unsustainability and the outcomes of adopting green practices. To address the gaps in the literature, this study presents a systematic literature review of 68 research articles that investigate environmental unsustainability in the restaurant industry. The review examines the research profile, including publication trends, key journals, countries studied, research methods, and types of restaurants analyzed. It also identifies five key thematic foci: stakeholders and their roles, sources of environmental unsustainability, green initiatives adopted by restaurants, outcomes of adopting green practices, and measurement of greening practices. Based on the findings, the paper proposes a green restaurant ecosystem research framework and discusses the limitations and research gaps within each thematic focus. The review concludes by suggesting future research directions and emphasizing the importance of a unified approach to transform environmentally unsustainable restaurants into green restaurants. Ultimately, this study contributes to the understanding of green practices in the restaurant industry and provides a roadmap for future research in this field.