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The workplace meal: A migrant workers’ perspective.

Turkoglu, H., Brown, L. and Hudson, P., 2020. The workplace meal: A migrant workers’ perspective. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 13 (4), 361 - 375.

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DOI: 10.1108/IJWHM-12-2018-0155


Abstract Purpose Employees eat at least one meal per day in the workplace on a regular basis, carrying implications for their physical and emotional wellbeing. For migrants, this can be challenging, owing to food culture differences. This study explores migrant workers perceptions’ of the food eaten in the hospitality workplace. Design/methodology/approach Eleven in-depth, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were carried out with migrant workers in three and four stars hotels in the South West of England. Findings The findings show that the food eaten in the workplace is perceived as unhealthy and fattening, and therefore unappealing. This partly informs a decision to eat home country food away from work. Research limitations/implications Further research is needed across many more organisations to investigate whether this would actually have the positive impact on employee well-being (migrant or home national) and employer reputation. Practical implications Providing additional ‘off-menu’ meals for migrant employees is recognised. However, staff turnover within the hotel environment may mean that dishes acceptable to one nationality may not be acceptable to another. Alternatively, it may be that attention to such detail and the provision of a food offering that is seen as fit for purpose by staff may reduce turnover and demonstrate ‘care’ on the part of the employer. An annual staff survey could be conducted to gauge employee opinion. Social implications This study helps to show the significance of food for migrant wellbeing. It highlights that in increasingly globalised workplaces, food provision is important for both emotional and physical health. The study’s findings have relevance to other multicultural workplaces where the food provided to staff may have consequences for employee wellbeing. Originality/value Little research has focused on the link between the food consumed in the hospitality workplace and migrant worker wellbeing. This study therefore makes an important contribution to knowledge by exploring feelings about the food eaten at work from the perspective of migrant workers themselves.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:workplace eating; wellbeing; migrant workers; unhealthy fattening; ethnic cuisine
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:33796
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:24 Mar 2020 12:18
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:21


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