Effects of authentic atmospherics in ethnic restaurants: investigating Chinese restaurants

SooCheong (Shawn) Jang (Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Yinghua Liu (Panda Express, Inc.)
Young Namkung (College of Hotel & Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 12 July 2011



Given the rapid development of ethnic‐themed restaurants, this study aims to investigate how authentic atmospherics affects consumer emotions and behavioral intentions in Chinese restaurants in the USA.


A total of 348 usable responses from full table service restaurants in the USA were obtained via self‐administered questionnaires. A proposed model was tested following Anderson and Gerbing's two‐step approach: a measurement model and a subsequent structural model.


Using a structural equation modeling technique, this study found that authentic atmospherics significantly influences consumers' positive and negative emotions, and both types of emotions acted as full mediators between authentic atmospherics and behavioral intentions. Subsequent regression analyses revealed that menu presentation, furnishings, and music were significant predictors of positive emotions whereas menu presentation and music significantly influenced negative emotions.

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from only full table service restaurants. Therefore, generalizing the results for other segments of the restaurant industry may not be possible.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications for selecting and refining crucial elements of authentic atmospherics in order to enhance customers' favorable emotions, avoid unfavorable emotions, and ultimately heighten positive behavioral consequences.


Different from previous studies on the general aspect of atmospherics, this study exclusively investigates the effect of authentic atmospherics on customer post‐dining behavioral intentions in Chinese restaurants, one of the most popular ethnic restaurant segments in the US foodservice market. This study could also provide directions for improving the perceived authenticity of restaurant atmospherics.



Jang, S., Liu, Y. and Namkung, Y. (2011), "Effects of authentic atmospherics in ethnic restaurants: investigating Chinese restaurants", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 662-680. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111111143395

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