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Table 3 Manager comments relating to acceptability

From: Impact of reducing portion sizes in worksite cafeterias: a stepped wedge randomised controlled pilot trial

Acceptability to cafeteria customers “The intervention went quite smoothly really. A lot of the proposed issues that we thought may raise up hadn’t come to, didn’t come to anything. A lot of the people didn’t really notice a 10% variance in their portion sizing.” (Site 1)  “I think at [site] the vast majority of people probably either won’t notice or it won’t really bother them sufficiently for them to say anything or do anything any different other than just go along with what’s there and available to them.” (Site 1) “So honestly there was no real negative feedback or issues regarding the people on site and this intervention happening” (Site 5) “I did expect people to notice that maybe their portion of lasagne was a bit smaller, the amount of pasta they got on their plate was a bit smaller but they actually haven’t so, or if they have they haven’t been concerned about it.” (Site 2 and 6) “There wasn’t any kind of ‘we want them bigger again’ or any fuss in any way so no I didn’t get any noise at all from anybody in terms of discontent” (Site 2 and 6) “I think with some of the colleagues there was some negative feedback. I think they thought it was another initiative from [catering provider] to make more money by reducing the portion sizes.” (Site 3) “I think because it was only a very minor change really that nobody seemed to come back and say it was an issue.” (Site 4)
Proportionate pricing “…the technical side gave us a little bit of a challenge reducing the pricing according to the dishes that we did because we didn’t do it across the whole board” (Site 1) “…didn’t really notice and then when they did once they realised that there was a price reduction they were kind of less bothered by it” (Site 5)
Difficulty of implementation “What we certainly didn’t anticipate up front when we were talking about these kind of experiments at a higher level is just how many complexities there would be around, I suppose when you then introduce the pricing factor as well” (Site 1 and 5) “…it’s just become difficult when you get down to the detail of how we actually make this work without upsetting our employees” (Site 1 and 5) “…this intervention and the portion sizes it’s been quite difficult to continue it because of the structure of the pricing and the contract” (Site 1 and 5) “We did think at the beginning when we talked about it that there could be a few issues…but it went, in real terms it was fine, no problem” (Site 5) “…the challenges were getting in the smaller size branded products, that don’t exist” (Site 2 and 6) “…we had the equipment on site so we already had some smaller ladles and cutting up the tray-bakes wasn’t an issue.” (Site 2 and 6) “…probably only looking at hot food, so the hot food counters, because a lot of the portion sizing on pre-packaged foods is pretty reasonable” (Site 4) “I think [they] struggled at the beginning to work out what they could reduce because a lot of our things we already have things that are relatively cut down. There wasn’t a huge amount of things that we could perhaps change in terms of pre-packaged things … they focused on the main meals where they could serve up slightly less of different dishes” (Site 4) “…quite a challenging one because we couldn’t advertise entirely what we were doing” (Site 1) “There’s this view that the guys working out of the factory need feeding up, they’ve got hard manual jobs haven’t they and obviously the definition of, of course they need a few more calories than perhaps someone who’s sitting at a desk all day” (Site 5 and 8) “…we just felt that actually seeing as how nobody had really noticed that we’d made these changes we didn’t want to draw their attention to it because we might feel that there would be a bit of a backlash” (Site 4)