A healthful options food station can improve satisfaction and generate gross profit in a worksite cafeteria

J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 May;109(5):914-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.02.006.


The objectives of this study were to determine customer satisfaction with a healthful options food station offered in a worksite cafeteria and document the financial contribution of such a station. The healthful options station featured daily entrées with fewer than 500 calories and less than 30% of calories from fat. Questionnaires from 655 (24.5% response) employees and students provided data on satisfaction with and usage of the station. The majority of the respondents who had purchased from the healthful options station were female (77.3%), white (51.6%), aged 30 to 50 years (52.0%), and had annual incomes of $60,000 to $100,000 (29.3%) or $20,000 to $39,999 (22.2%). Sales and gross profit from the healthful options station were compared to those of the comfort station. Customers were satisfied with attributes of the healthful options station (means >3 on a 5-point scale). Results of paired t tests suggested that customers who had purchased from the healthful options station rated the station significantly (P<0.001) higher for healthfulness of entrées, food presentation, food quality, overall quality of the cafeteria, length of line, and food choices available compared to their ratings for the cafeteria in general. The healthful options station generated average daily sales of $458 and gross profit of $306. However, the sales and gross profit were significantly (P<0.05) less than the comparison comfort station.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted / economics*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted / standards
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / economics
  • Female
  • Food Services / economics*
  • Food Services / standards*
  • Food, Organic
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace


  • Dietary Fats