Perspective of Restaurant Owners in Lebanon

Executive Summary

In numerous parts of the world, food safety has had a significant impact on the general health of the population as well as the economy of a nation. As a result, different nations have developed food safety policies and regulations aimed at enforcing the production of quality food products. Over the last few decades, pathogenic microorganisms have been detected in the various Lebanese food products (CNRS, 2016). The restaurant industry has also been charged with outbreaks of food poisoning and some of the food product exported from the nation have been rejected. Nevertheless, the quality and safety standards in Lebanon has not changed since the implementation of food safety intervention by the Ministry of Health Food Quality.  

In November 2014, the minister in the Ministry of Health Food Quality and Public Health in Lebanon Honorable Wael Abu Faour published a list of some of the Lebanon’s renowned restaurants, supermarkets as well as butchers (Staff, 2016). The list illustrated that the establishments had not complied with the approved national health standards. Faour’s report was supported by the findings of a testing research that had been performed on the establishments’ products in 2014 (Saad, 2014). The findings of the testing research illustrated the presence of pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella as well as obligate aerobes. During the same period, an intervention by the Ministry was designed aimed at imposing the food quality and safety standards on all the restaurants in the nation. 

This proposal will illustrate the effects of the Ministry of Health Food Quality intervention of the performance of restaurants in Lebanon. This will be achieved by performing an investigation aimed at ascertaining the effect of the intervention on the cost of products offered by the restaurants in the nation. It will also seek to find out the effect of the intervention on the restaurants’ profit and loss. Also, it will seek to determine whether the intervention and rules imposed by the Ministry of Health Food Quality were achievable. Ultimately, the research will focus on determining the time that was taken by the restaurants in Lebanon to successfully achieve the Ministry’s health rules and regulations.     

Research Proposal Questions/Objectives

This research proposal will be developed based on four fundamental questions. The research questions that will be employed to validate the research proposal will include: 

Question 1# Did the intervention impose and increase the cost of food in the restaurants?

Question 2# Did the intervention affect the profit and loss recorded by the restaurants?

Question 3# Was the intervention rules and regulations achievable by the restaurants?

Question 4# How much time did it take for the restaurants to achieve the ministry of health rules and regulations?

Literature Review

Literature 1#

The effect of the Ministry of Health and Food Quality intervention on the restaurant’s performance in Lebanon can be supported by a publication authored by Soueid et al. (2014). The publication was a special report published to summarize the analysis of the food market in Lebanon on November 2014. The special report focused on the 2014 food production, imports as well as exports in Lebanon. The special case report will be essential for this research proposal by providing an illustration of the evolution of food production, imports and exports in Lebanon between 2009 to 2014.;

In addition, the case report will offer graphical illustrations on the growth and decline in the total revenue attained from food production in Lebanon between 2009 to 2014. The statistics will be essential in illustrating the effect of the Ministry of Food and Quality intervention to the cost of food in the restaurants. The statistics will also aid in illustrating the impact of such costs on the profits and losses recorded in the restaurants and other stakeholders in the food sector.

Literature 2#

The effect of food quality intervention by the Ministry of Health Food Quality in 2014 can also be supported by a publication authored by Mikhael (2014). The publication was a case report of a quantitative research performed with an aim of determining the historical trends of hotels and restaurants industry in Lebanon. The publication was part of the Blominvest Bank research that was carried out on November 7, 2014.;

The publication will be important for this research in that it will aid in illustrating the productivity of the restaurants and hotels; sector in Lebanese in terms of profit and loss, following the implementation of the intervention in 2014. The publication will also aid in illustrating the future trends in the Lebanese restaurant industry in light to the Ministry;s intervention. It will also aid in illustrating the most effective recommendations of what the industry requires for it to be more productive in the future.;

Literature 3#

A publication authored by Banna and Nawas (2016) supports the presumption that the food quality and safety regulations that were enacted in 2014 in Lebanon have not been successful. The publication was a summary of a quantitative research carried out in 2016 aimed at determining whether there are pathogenic microorganisms in the food served in Ras Beirut;s restaurants. The primary findings of the research portrayed that there were traces of Salmonella in the renowned chicken shawarma sandwiches. Such were the sandwiches that were offered regularly to customers in three of the restaurants that were used as the sample population during the research.;

In addition, traces of Aeromonashydrophila, as well as Escherichia coli, were also found in the sandwiches served in two other restaurants employed as samples in the case study. These findings will support the proposal of this research by illustrating that the food safety and regulation standards enacted after the 2014 Ministry;s intervention in Lebanon have not been effective. The research will also aid the proposal by offering a discussion of the various reasons that contribute to the contamination of food offered by the restaurants in the nation. Ultimately, the research will offer an expansive recommendation that can be employed by the health care authorities in the nation to ensure that safety standards of food commonly preferred by the consumers are followed.;

Literature 4#

According to a publication authored by Abebe, Chalak, and Abiad (2016), implementation of food safety intervention in the Lebanese food sector, could take a long time for it to be successfully adopted. The publication was a qualitative research article aimed at determining the effects of governance structures (GCS) as well as the food safety management systems (FSMSs) in the detection of food safety hazards. The findings of the research were supported by substantial empirical evidence on the Lebanese food industry. The findings of the research illustrated that although FSMSs are effective in regulating food safety hazards in Lebanon, it might not be viable in the short run due to the significant scarcity of public resources in the nation.;

The findings of the research suggested that such government interventions and policies should be focused on introducing incentive schemes for manufacturers in the nations. This is with the primary objective of promoting improved food production standards in Lebanon. Some of the incentives suggested by the researchers included offering education to famers as well as providing loans to all stakeholders involved in food the food industry. This publication will support this research proposal by illustrating the lengthy period that may have been taken by the restaurants to successfully adopt the intervention guidelines in their food business.;

Abede, Chalak, and Abiad (2016);s research literature will be significantly utilized to inform this research. This is by illustrating the challenges of implementing the government food quality intervention in the restaurants and in other sectors of the food industry. It will also be employed to support the argument that it could take a long time for such an intervention by the Ministry of Health and Food Quality to successfully implement the regulation policies. This is in all sectors of the food industry in the nation such as the restaurants among others.;

Methodology

The research technique that will be employed for this research will be the qualitative standardized own ended interview. The technique will be suitable for the research as it will seek to have a thorough description of the central theme of the research being proposed. The method will also aid the researchers to seek factual and meaningful responses from the participants chosen to be the sample population for the research. The methodology will also enable the researchers to be in a position to seek the story behind the interview participants; personal experiences on the primary objectives of the research. Ultimately, the technique will also enable the researchers to be in a position to pursue an in-depth set of information on all responses related to the objectives of the research.;

In addition, the qualitative interview to be performed will be a standardized own ended interview. This is so as to ensure that a set of similar open-ended questions will be asked to all the interviewees of the interview. This approach will be effective because it will allow a faster execution of interviews. The approach also allows the data attained during the interview to be easily analyzed (Lardbucket, 2016). Also, by using the approach, the researchers will be in a position to easily compare the responses attained from different interviewees during the interview process. This will be essential in reducing the cases of biasness that may be observed during the interview.;

Data Collection Methods

During the interview, the data collection method that will be employed is the interview question template. The temperate will contain a series of ten unstructured questions. The interview questions templates are comparable to a questionnaire with open-ended questions that do not have defined answers. While filling in the questions; template, the interviewees will not have a set of fixed possible answers to choose from. Instead, they will answer the questions based on their personal experiences on the questions asked during the interview. There are three primary reasons as to why the researchers should use unstructured own ended interview question templates during the research study.;

First, the data collection technique will facilitate rapport and sensitivity. This technique has a significant level of informality that allows an interviewer to gain rapport with the respondents. The interviewees will be more likely to open up during the questioning and this will aid in attaining a deep insight into understanding the various responses made by the respondents. Second, the approach will aid in checking the understanding of the participants. If the interviewees will not understand the questions asked during the interview session, they will be in a position to seek clarifications from the interviewer. Finally, the approach will offer the interviewees the flexibility of answering the questions asked effectively. Since there will be no defined order of answering the questions, the respondents will have a chance of choosing the questions they will prefer to answer first.;

Validity

The chosen data collection method and the tool will be appropriate for this research. They are valid as they will be able to measure what they were intended to measure and as a result offer remarkably truthful results. In addition, the data collection method chosen for this research will enable the researcher to collect viable responses. That is for the four stated research questions, which will be the primary focus of this research. Ultimately, the research methodology will also allow the researchers to test the validity of different responses attained during the interview from each respondent by comparing it to other responses from other interviewees.;

Reliability

The reliability of the research methodology and data collection tool employed in this qualitative research are remarkably high. This is because they will be able to show the researchers the consistency of the attained results from all the respondents employed in the research. During the interview, the consistency of the recorded results will be validated by comparing them with the responses collected from each interviewee. In addition, the research methodology and data collection method employed in this research are widely used in other qualitative research. As such, they have trusted methods of collecting reliable and consistent results from a qualitative research activity.;

Generalizability

The research methodology and data collection tool adopted will support the generalizability factor of the research. This is because the research is not focused on investigating a single objective but four objectives among the interview respondents. Since the nature of the qualitative research will be the standardized own ended interview, the researchers will be in a position to attain a wide range of viable responses from the interview participants. All the collected responses from the interviewees will be sufficient to offer conclusive findings of the research questions.;;