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Investigating Key Factors that Contribute to Environmental Sustainability Within the Sri Lankan Restaurants in Melbourne

Executive Summary of Energy Use in Global Food Production

Environmental sustainability practices are essential for the hospitality and tourism industry to promote customer satisfaction and utilize natural resources effectively. This study represents that Sri Lankan restaurants are using distinguished practices for energy conservation, water conservation and waste management. The problem statement of the research is “To what extent the Sri Lankan restaurants contribute towards environmental sustainability in Melbourne?” Secondary qualitative data is used for the research to collect the most appropriate data for the study. Thematic analysis is identified as suitable for the research to discuss the key factors and contribution of Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary.

Introduction.

Research overview and background.

Problem statement

Research aim and objectives.

Literature review..

Research design.

6.1 Method.

6.2 Collection & Sampling.

6.3 Analysis.

6.4 Ethical considerations.

Findings.

7.1 Energy use by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne.

7.2 Water usage by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne.

7.3 Waste and food management

7.4 Conceptual map for environmental sustainability practices used by Sri Lankan restaurants within Melbourne.

Discussion.

Recommendations.

Limitations.

Conclusion.

References.

1. Introduction to Energy Use in Global Food Production

Environmental sustainability is known as a responsible interaction of organizations with the environment to reduce or avoid the degradation or depletion of natural resources and promotes the environmental quality (Baland, Bardhan and Bowles 2018). This paper aims at the analysis of the key factors of environmental sustainability that are considered by Sri Lankan restaurants available in Melbourne. The migrants have contributed a significant part with the food and associated services. Through the social inclusion of migrants in Australia, has promoted ethnic diversity that can benefit the economy with distinguished flavours for travellers. Product diversity can help in attracting more customers to enjoy the ethnic diversity with a benefit of better employment opportunities, lifestyle consideration and products facilities (Sarkodie and Strezov 2018). The key purpose of this research is the investigate the key factors that lead to environmental sustainability in the economy with the help of Sri Lankan Restaurants.

The scope of this research is limited to the Melbourne area and the Sri Lankan restaurants available in the region. The key contribution of these migrant restaurants can be analyzed with their operational and environmental activities in the business that can impact the growth of the economy. Sustainability trends can be evaluated in Australia that can fulfil the needs of ideal sustainable practices (Sarkodie and Strezov 2018). This study can promote beneficial research for the role of ethnic restaurants in attaining environmental sustainability.

This research is based on 11 sections wherein each section plays an essential role in defining the research solution. The first section is “introduction” in which the key purpose, scope and report outline are described to understand the research structure.

The second section is "research overview and background" where the significance of the research and context will be explained to understand the researcher's point of view. The third section is the "problem statement". Herein the specific problem of the research will be discussed. It can help in defining the important aspects of the research.

The fourth section is "research aims and objectives" to define a clear aim of the research-based on significant objectives. The fifth section is “Literature review” to support the research through theoretical perspectives. Different themes will be used for the literature review to analyze the problem. The sixth section is “research design” which helps in identifying the research methods, data collection techniques, sampling techniques and analyzing the data collected. It also includes ethical consideration to meet the research criteria. The seventh section is “Findings” where the data can be interpreted to reach out to a suitable inference. This section will be followed by “Discussion”, “Recommendations” and “Conclusion” to end the research including “Limitations” for the study.

2. Research Overview and Background

Environmental awareness is necessary for business organizations. It can help in brand loyalty and reduction in the operational cost for the products. These practices are necessary to meet the sustainable practices in business with an improved public image. In modern organizations, maximized benefits can be attained by organizations through economic, social and environmentally based business practices and creating a green image of the brand. Enhanced opportunities can be ensured through sustainable practices that can enhance organizational performance (Sarmiento and El Hanandeh 2018). This research can help in drawing the attention of the organizations towards environmental sustainability and effective business practices. It represents the business practices of Sri Lankan restaurants to evaluate the acts of sustainable business practices. Additionally, this research can also focus on the challenges faced by organizations in attaining sustainable practices.

3. Problem Statement

The current study focuses on the environmentally sustainable practices followed by distinguished Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne. The understanding of environmental sustainability and environmental awareness can promote the significance of ethnic restaurants. Sustainable business practices are based on the decisions of management and employees wherein this study can assess the role of employees and management to promote the cultural identity of ethnic restaurants through their activities and operations. Some of the sustainable practices are based on waste minimization techniques, local purchases, water consumption techniques and energy consumption techniques (Sarmiento and El Hanandeh 2018).

The primary research question of the study is:

“To what extent the Sri Lankan restaurants contribute towards environmental sustainability in Melbourne”?

The secondary research questions of the study are:

  1. What are the actual environmental key factors followed by Sri Lankan restaurants to achieve sustainable performance?
  2. Is there an increased emphasis on environmental sustainability within the Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne?

4. Research Aim and Objectives

The aim of this study is to investigate the key factors that contribute to attaining environmental sustainability by the Sri Lankan restaurants available in the region of Melbourne. It can help in providing significant solutions to reduce environmental impact and enhance organizational performance. Increased awareness of environmental sustainability can help in promoting sustainable business practices and enhancing environmental protection practices. Ethnic restaurants aim to promote cultural diversity. Through the efforts and decisions of management and employees, an organization can contribute to effective organizational performance with increased benefits for the society (Han and Yoon 2015).

Key objectives of the research are as follows:

  • To identify the benefits of environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry.
  • To recognize the key factors of the actual environment that are followed by Sri Lankan restaurants to attain sustainable performance.
  • To emphasize on the increased business activities for environmental sustainability within the Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne.

5. Literature Review of Energy Use in Global Food Production

According to Pulido-Fernandez, Cardenas-Garcia and Espinosa-Pulido (2019), environmental sustainability is defined as the ability of effective utilization of resources that can help in meeting the current needs without compromising the ability of future generations. Tourism and hospitality industry emphasizes environmental sustainability through distinguished operational activities that include the generation of economic benefits. Increased use of land, can lead to soil erosion. As per Hall, Gossling and Scott (2015), Distinguished environmental impacts of tourism are based on increased pressure on endangered species, loss of natural habitat and increased pollution. It is essential for all the industries to focus on the services and manufacturing needs without harming the environment. Key factors impacting environmental sustainability are waste consumption, environmental pollution, energy consumption, use of resources and water consumption. It can help to explore key sustainability areas which can be promoted for effective business practices.

This literature examines the major identified areas of sustainability, namely energy use, water usage, and waste management, as the leading indicators of the intensity of sustainability efforts by businesses within Melbourne's tourism and hospitality industry. Furthermore, this document explores ethnic firms' performance within the tourism industry and their efforts towards environmental sustainability within the industry by researching Sri Lankan restaurants within Melbourne, Australia.

Benefits of environmental sustainability in the tourism industry

In the views of Pushpakumara et al. (2019), Environmental sustainability creates a debate among different sectors, organizations, society and citizens of Australia. With the increased population, the consumption of natural resources in Australia is increasing which maximizes pressure on the consumption of fuel, water, energy and food. It also leads to produce a higher waste which can lead to environmental pollution. Thus it raises a need for environmental protection by attaining sustainability.

In the opinion of Cheer and Lew (2017), Growing opportunities in the tourism industry lead to creating several challenges for the economy. Environmental sustainability is an increased practice in the tourism industry with the identification of performance gaps in businesses and promoting ethnic diversity through continuous sustainable efforts. Sustainability increases the aspects for present and future industries through the exploration of new market and conserving the natural resources. Defined business activities based on sustainable operations help in promoting the brand image and control the use of natural resources. Environmental management is a key concept behind environmental sustainability that considers the harmful impact of business practices on the environment. As per Budeanu, Miller, Moscardo and Ooi (2016), Consideration of relevant environmental management initiatives helps in achieving the economic advantage. Numerous factors motivate the tourism industry to achieve environmental sustainability. It includes several benefits such as improved business reputation, improved guest experience, reduction in operating costs, improved brand image, government incentives and reduction in resource consumption.

In the opinion of Cheer and Lew (2017), Sustainable tourism enhances the culture and value to natural resources. It leaves a positive impact on tourism and provides financial benefits to organizations and economies. Conservation of water, energy and sustainable use of other natural resources brings distinguished sustainable practices to minimize the negative impact on the environment. According to Cucculelli and Goffi (2016), Several practices followed by organizations for environmental sustainability include electricity conservation, water conservation and waste management. Businesses can take the advantage of a cost-effective model for products and services that can help them in attaining a competitive advantage. Green organizations work towards protecting the environment that allows the adaptation of new technology to minimize operating risks and attract employees and customer through long-term sustainability. In the views of Pushpakumara et al. (2019), Different policies are adopted by firms to encourage investment in long-term sustainability plans by investors which in turn increases the profitability of the firm with cost-saving plans for future. 

According to Cucculelli and Goffi (2016), Distinguished efforts of the organizations contribute towards economic growth and managing a sustainable tourism experience. A magical experience with environmental protection efforts allows tourists to get a fruitful experience.

Key factors of the actual environment that are followed by Sri Lankan restaurants to attain sustainable performance

As per Higgins-Desbiolles and Wijesinghe (2018), the United Nations has proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the developmental aspects of the economies. In the views of the World Travel and Tourism Council, a critical element for influencing the consumers is based on sustainable practices based on the food consumption choices. It shows that restaurants play an essential role in implementing SDGs and enhancing sustainable practices in the communities. Key factors behind the sustainable practices are based on alternative approaches for energy and water consumption including waste management. In the perspective of Dixon and Richards (2016), food security in Australia promotes fair food practices that can help in adapting sustainable food system. Nutrition sensitive practices drive the valuable function of the food sovereignty movement among Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne. It continually brings effective practices for food manufacturing with technological based infrastructure to fulfil the needs of sustainable business practices. As per Samaratunge, Barrett and Rajapakse (2015), the Sri Lankan restaurants motivate the individuals to engage in self-employment and promote ethnic diversity. They promote the alternatives for human capital with available local market opportunities and highlighting the use of conservative natural resources. The opportunity structure is tied to the ethnic networks with a lack of human capital that promotes effective entrepreneurial activity.

In the views of McCluskey (2015), the food consumption preferences and traditions allow distinguished factors to promote food market variations, environmental awareness and demographic diversification. Increased concerns of individuals towards healthy and organic food promotes a healthy lifestyle of consumers as promoted by Sri Lankan restaurants. Additionally, numerous decisions of consumers for growing food demand impacts their decisions. In the view of Aljaffal (2017), Based on the manufacturing needs for local suppliers enhanced healthy and safe food practices with a reduction in energy consumption. These new trends for healthier food preference bring a movement of locavore. It avoids the use of unsustainable techniques of transporting food and imports by depending more on local suppliers. It brings a positive change in the exotic items with a lower impact on the environment and gaining benefits from edible plants. Significant movements by the Sri Lankan restaurants help in preserving the local culture with a benefit of sustainable procurement practices. Local products produced in the economy helps in reducing carbon footprint with an increased benefit of health and wellness.

Increased business activities for environmental sustainability within the Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne

Green practices and conservation programs are implemented by the restaurant industries with a solution of conserving natural resourcing and help in cost reduction. It promotes distinguished benefits based on financial profits and social value in the economy. Different environmental business solutions are encouraged by the restaurants to promote the use of sustainable natural resources and focus on conservation like water and energy to minimize the negative impact on the environment. Electricity conservation and waste management practices are promoted by restaurants with alternative energy solutions. A simple structured practice for waste management is used by organizations which are Reuse, Reduce Rethink and Recycle.

  • Reuse: Using energy-efficient equipment and un-used edible food donation program
  • Reduce: Food waste needed to be reduced with the order for the right amount of resources
  • Rethink: A new waste review is encouraged by restaurants to use the resources before throwing in the garbage
  • Recycle: Save valuable resources through recycling the fryer oil for other uses such as biodiesel. Reduce energy consumption and pollution by managing the manufacturing of new products.

In the perspective of Verma (2015), The use of dishwasher can be reduced for lower energy consumption and promoting high efficient operating practices. Distinguished tips are provided by researchers for ventilating, heating and air conditioning which can minimize the energy consumption and maintain the temperatures. It can also be noticed that restaurants consume a higher amount of water during service operations. As per Sandaruwani and Gnanapala (2016), cleaning, food preparation. Sanitation and cooking require an enormous amount of water. Through significant water-saving practices, the operational costs can be easily reduced that can promote higher profitability benefits.

In the view of Kapuge (2016), The food items based on Sri Lankan restaurants are healthy and made from local products. It promotes cultural heritage in Australia with a distinct cuisine taste experience. The lifestyle of Sri Lankan cuisine is highly based on easy and healthy ingredients which require a lower amount of energy. The cuisines prepared by Sri Lankan restaurants are mostly vegan, easy and low in calories which promotes a healthy lifestyle. The traditional food system of Sri Lanka is based on harvesting the local products which improved environmental sustainability and change the view of Melbourne towards ethnic restaurants.

Sandaruwani and Gnanapala (2016) identified that biogas digesters are installed by the Sri Lankan restaurants to promote sustainable food waste management practices. Increased financial profits are identified with food waste practices as adopted by the restaurants. The hospitality industry is highly based on energy and produces a large amount of waste. While through the efficient use of resources and waste management practices, these issues are managed by the restaurants.

In the views of McCluskey (2015), it can be identified that environmental sustainability promotes several benefits for the restaurants and economy. Financial benefits and improved organizational performance can be identified with environmentally sustainable benefits. Nutrition sensitive practices are considered as a valuable function of the food sovereignty movement among Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne. Ethnic restaurants in Melbourne has adopted environmentally friendly practices for the benefit of organizational performance and meeting global needs. As per Sandaruwani and Gnanapala (2016), increasing trend towards healthy food promotes sustainable environmental practices. While it can be noticed that Sri Lankan cuisines are healthy and made from local products which leave a healthy waste that can benefit the environment. Effective waste management practices are followed by Sri Lankan restaurants to use the resources efficiently. Improved environmental sustainability can be identified with the energy-efficient techniques adopted by the Sri Lankan restaurants available in Melbourne.

6. Research Design

The research methodology is identified as a tool to analyze the research problem and identify an appropriate approach for the research that can meet the requirements of effective data through achieved validity and reliability. Research design represents a framework of tools and techniques to promote a logical representation of information. It can be described as exploratory, experimental and descriptive research design (McLeod, 2017). The exploratory research design concentrates on the qualitative information in the research and represents the true nature of research problem while experimental research design focuses on the valid and reliable results to work through scientific techniques and analyze the potential threats. However, the descriptive research design justifies the characteristics of the identified subject and describe population behaviour (Creswell & Poth, 2016). The researcher identified exploratory research design as most suitable for the study that can help in identifying suitable research findings.

6.1 Method

Research approach defines an outline to work on the specified techniques and make assumptions. Sufficient information in the research promotes several benefits to work effectively on the research problem. Two foremost research approaches are deductive and inductive. The deductive approach helps in identifying the relevant findings through generalized concepts and represent specific information whereas inductive approach relies upon the specific findings that can promote general findings (Creswell & Poth, 2016). This research relies upon the inductive approach to attain significant impact of brand equity in the organization and interpret relevant outcomes to define the financial performance of the company. This research concentrates on the secondary qualitative data to identify suitable information from journal articles, books and online sources. It helps in providing reliability to the research findings and represents the available facts (Creswell & Poth, 2016).

This research is based on the identification of a practical issue available in the specific area wherein the environmentally sustainable practices of Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne are analyzed that represents this research as an applied research project.

6.2 Collection & Sampling

The research data is based on secondary qualitative resources wherein reliable data can be identified. This data is collected through available journal articles, books and online articles. All the information is taken from reliable published sources to get verified data from “Google Scholar”.

The major drawback identified in the use of secondary data sources is based on the accurate data that can provide the required information. A lot of research is required in identifying the relevant data for the research. The sample for data collection is selected based on the required information (Creswell & Poth, 2016).

6.3 Analysis

Data analysis techniques are used to interpret the research findings and evaluate specific information (Logan 2020). To analyze specific information from several sources, researchers emphasize on using thematic analysis, graphical analysis and SPSS techniques. The thematic analysis represents different themes based on specific literature to analyze a significant outcome while graphical technique promotes the identification of information in several graphs and charts based on the statistical equations. SPSS technique is known as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences that helps in analyzing statistical information through the multivariate matrix (Logan 2020; Mkandawire 2019). This paper is based on thematic analysis to represent the logical structure of the qualitative information that can help in identifying suitable research findings. Four themes are identified in the literature to analyze the relevant research problem and focus on the research findings. Each theme helps in answering the secondary research question to maintain a direction towards research outcomes. To analyze the data gathered from the secondary sources, thematic analysis technique is used.

6.4 Ethical considerations

Ethics are societal values and morals that promotes a difference in the community to bring the right behaviour for the benefit of all individuals. Acceptance of right and wrong behaviour helps to consider the relevant values. Ethical consideration in research defines the relevant values and morals in the study that are maintained by the researcher. The researcher focuses on using secondary data through justice, honesty and transparency in the references. The information used by the researcher for the study provides true findings and relevant citations to fulfil the research values and present unbiased research (Leikas & Kulju 2018; Nassaji, 2015).

7. Findings of Energy Use in Global Food Production

7.1 Energy use by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne

Sri Lankan restaurants show some common practices in the business to attain sustainability by using energy efficiently. Energy-efficient lights are used by restaurants to reduce overall energy consumption. Two key strategies are used by Sri Lankan restaurants in using energy effectively. Renewable energy utilization and reducing the use of energy are two major techniques used by restaurants to promote environmental sustainability in a business (Maheshwari, Singh and Thoradeniya 2016).

Several types of equipment, used by restaurants to reduce a higher amount of energy such as demand ventilation uses sensors for managing the fan speed in the kitchen which can minimize energy consumption by 30%. Below figure shows the energy consumption in restaurants which are effectively managed by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne (Aljaffal 2017).

Installation of low voltage light bulbs can save energy and helps the restaurants to utilized energy effectively and save as much as possible. As per the views of the World Economic Forum, the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness index shows the required sustainability strategies for the businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry. With increased awareness, the sustainability trend is rising which focuses on three concerns: the increasing cost of water and energy, carbon dioxide emissions that promote climate change and depletion of fossil fuel (Ingerson and Kim 2016).

7.2 Water usage by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne

Cleaning is one of the main business operations in the hospitality and tourism industry. With effective water management techniques, environmental sustainability can be identified. Sri Lankan restaurants, put significant efforts in water conservation techniques to promote efficient use of water. Training is provided by the hotels and restaurants to utilize water effectively and promote water conservation techniques. Modern duel flush toilets are used by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne to enhance water efficiency per flush. Energy-efficient dishwashers are used by the restaurants to promote water conservation techniques. For hand washing, foot pedal including sensor is used by restaurants that help in saving the astounding amount of water (Aljaffal 2017).

7.3 Waste and Food Management

Food management and waste management are considered as common operations in hotels regardless of their magnitude and size. Sri Lankan restaurants adapt effective food and waste management techniques to utilized their cultural practices with leftover foods. Controlled portions allow them to reduce excess food waste (Han and Yoon 2015). Moreover, modern food management technique such as composting is used by the restaurants that can help in managing the ecosystem. Following waste management approaches are used by Sri Lankan restaurants:

  • Reuse: Using energy-efficient equipment and un-used edible food donation program
  • Reduce: Food waste needed to be reduced with the order for the right amount of resources
  • Rethink: A new waste review is encouraged by restaurants to use the resources before throwing in the garbage
  • Recycle: Save valuable resources through recycling the fryer oil for other uses such as biodiesel. Reduce energy consumption and pollution by managing the manufacturing of new products (Mudannayake, Wimalasiri, Silva and Ajlouni 2015).

8. Discussion on Energy Use in Global Food Production

It can be interpreted that Sri Lankan restaurants available in Melbourne are highly focused on environmentally sustainable practices. Most efficient practices for energy usage, water usage and food and waste management. Renewable energy utilization and reducing the use of energy are two major techniques used by restaurants to promote environmental sustainability in business. Several types of equipment, used by restaurants to reduce a higher amount of energy such as demand ventilation uses sensors for managing the fan speed in the kitchen which can minimize energy consumption by 30% (Aljaffal 2017). Modern duel flush toilets are used by Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne to enhance water efficiency per flush (Samuel, Advocat and Russell 2018).

Energy-efficient dishwashers are used by the restaurants to promote water conservation techniques. For hand washing, foot pedal including sensor is used by restaurants that help in saving the astounding amount of water. These solutions enhance water management practices. Sri Lankan restaurants have adapted effective food and waste management techniques to utilize their cultural practices with leftover foods. Controlled portions allow them to reduce excess food waste. Moreover, modern food management technique such as composting is used by the restaurants that can help in managing the ecosystem (Mudannayake, Wimalasiri, Silva and Ajlouni 2015).

9. Recommendations on Energy Use in Global Food Production

It can be recommended that Sri Lankan restaurants must adopt more energy-efficient equipment to promote energy conservation practices and invest in renewable energy resources to generate power. A solar energy system can be identified as useful for the restaurants in Melbourne that can reduce the needs of energy. Regular maintenance for equipment can promote effective utilization of resources. Low flow faucets can be installed by Sri Lankan restaurants that can help in conserving water. Reduction in the use of bottled water and serving tap water is also an effective idea for water conservation. Rethink, reuse and recycle model can promote the use of resources in a most significant manner and increase the use of local resources (Aljaffal 2017).

10. Limitations of Energy Use in Global Food Production

Research limitations represent the disadvantages of the research methodology that can impact the research findings. These limitations can mislead the research outcomes. The researcher is using secondary data for the research to work with qualitative information which is not possible to represent the information in statistical or graphical form. Derived information cannot be verified through numerical analysis. While the researcher emphasized on using honest findings and reduced the research limitations. Through careful handling, the research limitations are minimized by the researcher (Mkandawire, 2019).

11. Conclusion on Energy Use in Global Food Production

This research is based on exploratory research design with the secondary qualitative research approach. The inductive approach of the study is used in the research to get the most significant research findings to meet the problem statement of the research. With the help of the general concept of environmental sustainability, specific outcomes for Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne are identified. The research data is collected from available journal articles, books and online articles. This paper is based on thematic analysis to represent the logical structure of the qualitative information that can help in identifying suitable research findings.

Effective environmental practices are adopted by Sri Lankan restaurants to meet the needs of environmental sustainability based on the key factors: energy, water and waste management. Different recommendations are provided for the restaurants to enhance sustainable practices through solar energy model and using modern measures for waste management, water management and energy management.

References for Energy Use in Global Food Production

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McLeod, S. (2017). Experimental design. Retrieved from: https://www.simplypsychology.org/experimental-designs.html

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Mudannayake, D.C., Wimalasiri, K.M.S., Silva, K.F.S.T. and Ajlouni, S., 2015. Selected Sri Lankan food plants and other herbs as potential sources of inulin-type fructans. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka43(1).

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Pushpakumara, W.H., Atan, H., Khatib, A., Azam, S.F. and Tham, J., 2019. Developing a Framework for Scrutinizing Strategic Green Orientation and Organizational Performance with Relevance to the Sustainability of Tourism Industry. European Journal of Social Sciences Studies, 4(3), pp. 545.

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