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Eat, sleep, fly, repeat: meal patterns among Swedish business travellers
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8179-4628
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå University School of Restaurant and Culinary Arts. School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5464-5686
2020 (English)In: Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism, ISSN 2169-2971, E-ISSN 2169-298X, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 55-66Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over half of the annual guests at Swedish hotels are supplied by the corporate sector. These guests are made up of individuals who travel for meetings, conferences, or presentations as a part of their job. Access to meals while travelling is essential and introduces added complexity to the business travellers’ everyday lives. These meals, and the pattern in which they are consumed, are part of the individual traveller’s personal and group identities. Therefore, the aim of this article is to study if business travellers deviate from their habitual meal patterns and if so - what changes they make. To further the understanding of this group’s meal patterns, a questionnaire was created and distributed. It was answered by 538 self-identified business travellers. These business travellers were made up of three groups – solo travellers, group travellers, and individuals who travelled both in groups as well as alone. Pearson’s chi-squared test was used to analyse differences in actions related to the meal pattern between groups. The analysis showed that changes in the meal pattern did occur in some instances. However, the majority of the business travellers adhered to their habitual meal pattern while adjusting their behaviour depending on the time of day. Managers of catering suppliers gaining insight into the meal habits of business travellers could help to ease an otherwise stressful situation by supplying meals, as a context, that fit with the business travellers’ habitual patterns and meal contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2020. Vol. 4, no 2, p. 55-66
Keywords [en]
meal behaviour, meal practice, business tourism, hospitality management
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165528DOI: 10.3727/216929719X15736343324841OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-165528DiVA, id: diva2:1373012
Available from: 2019-11-26 Created: 2019-11-26 Last updated: 2020-08-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Eat, Meet, Fly, Repeat: the contextuality of business travellers’ meals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Eat, Meet, Fly, Repeat: the contextuality of business travellers’ meals
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Meals are an important part of everyday life, both for the persons who engage in them and for the industry that makes them. For business travellers, meals are engaged in differently when they are travelling compared when they are home. Tens of millions of meals are engaged in each year by persons who are conducting business trips. Even though this group of people make up the largest group of customers for the Swedish hotels, research into their meals are virtually non-existent.

The aim of this thesis is to extend and deepen the knowledge about business travellers’ meals. This aim is approached by using both quantitative and qualitative methods, through a survey study and an interview study.

The results were then interpreted thought a practice theoretical framework. The results indicate that the meals of business travellers are contextual in nature and that their organisation is influenced by the practice bundle currently carried on by the business traveller. The meal is, furthermore, understood as part of practice-arrangement mesh, where the material arrangement conditions the facilitation of good meals. The meals of business travellers’ contain different ends than meals engaged in with friends and family, as such, a meal in which food of inadequate quality is served in an loud environment making the business traveller change behaviour could still be perceived as good due to the experiences of the business traveller’s clients.

The thesis proposes that the industry should engage more with their customers in order to accumulate knowledge of the different ends existing in their meal practice as a way of facilitating good meals. It does, furthermore, contribute to the theory on meals and eating out as it brings about a new way to conceive of good meals. It has also, as it is basic research, opened up for future inquiry into the meals of business travellers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2020. p. 65
Keywords
Meal science, meal practice, business travel, social practice theory
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-173867 (URN)978-91-7855-322-8 (ISBN)978-91-7855-323-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-09-04, Triple Helix, Universitetsledningshuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-08-17 Created: 2020-08-05 Last updated: 2020-08-11Bibliographically approved

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Sundqvist, JoachimWalter, UteHörnell, Agneta

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