The growing prevalence of single-person households in South Korea has started to affect the country’s restaurant business. The phenomenon has led to changes in how the interiors of food service establishments are designed. The purpose of this paper is to measure consumers’ emotions when they ate alone and when they saw someone else eating alone to investigate how these emotions can be used in marketing strategies.
The data were collected via self-administered surveys to individuals in Daejeon in South Korea. A total of 163 respondents were surveyed and divided into two groups on the basis of their frequency of eating alone: low frequency of eating alone and high frequency of eating alone (HEA). The HEA group was further sub-divided to identify significant differences in greater detail. An independent t-test and descriptive analyses were conducted on the data.
Significant differences were observed in the emotions of “be proud of oneself,” “sadness,” “extroversion,” and “loneliness.” A majority of the respondents ate alone because it saved them time. They also preferred to eat home meal replacements when they ate alone.
The results of this study help understand consumers’ emotions when eating alone in relation to their behaviors at food service establishments. They can inform decisions on market strategies developed by food businesses targeting single consumers.
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