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Using factor-cluster analysis to segment patrons of casual dining establishments in the United States

Jennifer L. Duncan (College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Bharath M. Josiam (College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Young Hoon Kim (College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Alexandria C. Kalldin (College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 April 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

Focussing on behaviors and attitudes of casual dining patrons, the purpose of this paper is to use a factor-cluster approach to segment patrons into market groups and attempts to determine if differences exist in motivational factors among segments.

Design/methodology/approach

Factor-cluster analysis is an alternative segmentation method to more traditionally used methods based on consumer demographics. Push and pull motivators were analyzed through factor analysis to determine important groupings. Then, to identify homogenous subgroups, k-means cluster analysis was conducted to segment 559 survey respondents based on factor importance.

Findings

Three diverse groups were identified: Fraternizing Kitchen Fearfuls, Functional Feasters, and Foodie Fanatics. The various push and pull factors appeared to affect segments differently, with each cluster ascribing various importance levels to each of the factors used in the clustering approach.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include the use of a convenience sample and on-campus sampling. Future research should use random sampling methods and obtain surveys from sites not associated with a college campus.

Practical implications

Though not often used in hospitality research, factor-cluster analysis can be useful to segment diners based on behavioral intentions and attributes, allowing marketers to more accurately target these diverse consumer segments. Marketing implications for casual dining restaurants are suggested.

Originality/value

Using the involvement construct with push/pull motivators, this study groups respondents though factor-cluster analysis. Though used in tourism studies, factor-cluster analysis has yet to be studied in the context of casual dining restaurant patrons.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

©Jennifer L. Duncan, Bharath M. Josiam, Young Hoon Kim and Alexandria C. Kalldin

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2013 Tenth World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement (AGBA) and published in the proceedings.

Citation

Duncan, J.L., Josiam, B.M., Kim, Y.H. and Kalldin, A.C. (2015), "Using factor-cluster analysis to segment patrons of casual dining establishments in the United States", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 4, pp. 1377-1398. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-04-2014-0142

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Authors