During the period from February 15 to august 31, the University of Western Britany (UBO) conducted an empirical research to assess the impact of access to seafood products in collective restaurants.
The first part of the work was to conduct a quantitative analysis on a given area limited to French primary school restaurants. This category of collective restaurants play a crucial role in getting children accustomed to seafood consumption. Furthermore, it offers the advantage of an easy open access to information about the menus served by school restaurants. This also facilitated the comparison of cities behaviors regarding seafood consumption and the place devoted to this category of products in their menus. A database was built in March and April with the entry of around 2.600 menus over 115 cities. The aim of this work was both to present preliminary results on the topic and to build an original method in an area of research where no specialized literature was found. The method can be easily applied to other types of collective restaurants with other types of consumers (University, administrative restaurants, high schools) if information is available.
The second part of this work is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with elected representatives, administrative employees in charge of food supply chain and public call for tenders, manager of public restaurants (with both modes of management, in-house and outsourced) and head cooks. A synthesis of the case study was done (in French, available soon) with two main purposes: the diffusion to the interviewees in a co-constructed research perspective with feedbacks with professionals and a publication in a journal.
Finally a workshop dedicated to the topic was organized on August 31st, 2016 at the UBO. The workshop gathered researchers from the UBO, public authorities from local and regional governing bodies as well as representatives of collective restaurants. The preliminary results were exposed by the members of the SUCCESS team, followed by a debate about the place of seafood in collective restaurants, the current difficulties for sourcing (especially about local fish) and future challenges to improve the quality of seafood served to customers in the future.