Barriers and facilitators to implementation of menu labelling interventions from a food service industry perspective: a mixed methods systematic review

Type Article

Journal Article


C. Kerins; S. McHugh; J. McSharry; C. M. Reardon; C. Hayes; I. J. Perry; F. Geaney; S. Seery; C. Kelly

Year of publication



Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act








BACKGROUND: Eating outside the home contributes to poor dietary habits worldwide and is associated with increased body fat and weight gain. Evidence shows menu labelling is effective in promoting healthier food choices; however, implementation issues have arisen. The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesise the evidence on the perceived barriers and facilitators to implementation of menu labelling interventions from the perspective of the food service industry. METHODS: Peer-reviewed and grey literature were searched using databases, specialised search engines and public health organisation websites. Screening reference lists, citation chaining and contacting authors of all included studies were undertaken. Primary research studies relevant to direct supply-side stakeholders were eligible for inclusion. There were no restrictions on menu labelling scheme or format, study methods, publication year or language. At least two independent reviewers performed study selection, data extraction and quality appraisal. The results were synthesised using the 'best fit' framework synthesis approach, with reference to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). RESULTS: Seventeen studies met the eligibility criteria, with the majority rated as average quality (n = 10). The most frequently cited barriers were coded to the CFIR constructs 'Consumer Needs & Resources' (e.g. lack of customer demand for/interest in menu labelling, risk of overwhelmed/confused customers) and 'Compatibility' with organisation work processes (e.g. lack of standardised recipes, limited space on menus). Frequently cited facilitators were coded to the CFIR constructs 'Relative Advantage' of menu labelling (e.g. improved business image/reputation) and 'Consumer Needs & Resources' (e.g. customer demand for/interest in menu labelling, providing nutrition information to customers). An adapted framework consisting of a priori and new constructs was developed, which illustrates the relationships between domains. CONCLUSION: This review generates an adapted CFIR framework for understanding implementation of menu labelling interventions. It highlights that implementation is influenced by multiple interdependent factors, particularly related to the external and internal context of food businesses, and features of the menu labelling intervention. The findings can be used by researchers and practitioners to develop or select strategies to address barriers that impede implementation and to leverage facilitators that assist with implementation effort. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42017083306.