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According to Restaurant DemandTracker, a recent survey of restaurant customers in the U.S., treating employees well is more important than giving back to the community or utilizing sustainable food sources. The survey asked people what was important to them when choosing which restaurant to visit.

Overall, 48 percent of restaurant consumers said they prefer to visit restaurants that treat their employees well. This was slightly higher among women (50 percent) and among consumers whose household income is less than $40,000 per year (51 percent).

A lower percentage, 26 percent, said they prefer to visit restaurants that give back to their communities. This is more important among Hispanics (34 percent), 18–34 year olds (32 percent), and women (30 percent).

And about 25 percent of restaurant consumers said they prefer to visit restaurants which source the food they serve from sustainable sources. This is also particularly important to Hispanics (31 percent), 18–34 year olds (30 percent) and women (28 percent).

"As many restaurant companies seek to strengthen their brand images by engaging in responsible business practices, it's important to understand which practices are the most important to consumers when deciding which restaurant to visit," said David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insight.

"While protecting the environment and supporting the community are important to some restaurant-goers, the most beneficial thing a restaurant company can do is treat its own employees well. This has the added benefit of contributing to a better service experience for customers if employees are happier and better-motivated. And a good service experience is critical for keeping customers coming back."

Read more about trends and statistics.

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