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What’s on the menu? How celebrity chef brands create happiness

Paula Rodrigues (COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management), Universidade Lusíada, Porto, Portugal)
Ana Brochado (Centro de Estudos sobre a Mudança Socioeconómica e o Território (DINÂMIA'CET), Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal)
Ana Sousa (COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management), Universidade Lusiada, Porto, Portugal)
Ana Pinto Borges (ISAG – European Business School, Research Centre in Business Sciences and Tourism (CICET - FCVC), COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management), Porto, Portugal)
Isabel Barbosa (COMEGI (Research Centre in Organizations, Markets and Industrial Management), Universidade Lusiada, Porto, Portugal)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 8 August 2023

Issue publication date: 23 November 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims, first, to understand consumers’ perception of chefs as human brands (i.e. study one). Second, tests were run to assess the validity of a new conceptual model of the relationships between the factors of chef image, luxury restaurant image, both images’ congruity and consumers’ hedonic and novelty experiences and happiness and well-being (i.e. study two).

Design/methodology/approach

The first qualitative study involved using Leximancer software to analyse the data drawn from 43 interviews with luxury restaurant clients. In the second quantitative study, 993 valid survey questionnaires were collected, and the proposed model was tested using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results reveal that consumers perceive chefs as human brands and the associated narratives include both performance- and popularity-based characteristics. The findings support the conclusion that individuals give great importance to chefs’ image and the congruence between chefs and their restaurant’s image. In addition, luxury restaurant image only affects novelty experiences, and both hedonic and novelty experiences have a positive effect on customers’ happiness and well-being.

Research limitations/implications

This research focused on Portuguese luxury restaurants. The consumers’ happiness and well-being needs to be replaced by other outcomes to confirm if the model produces consistent results.

Practical implications

The results should help luxury restaurant managers understand more fully which pull factors are valued by their clients and which aspects contribute the most to their pleasure and welfare.

Originality/value

This study adds to the extant literature by exploring consumers’ perceptions of chefs as human brands and the role these chefs’ image play in customers’ luxury restaurant experiences and perceived happiness and well-being.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, grant UIDB/04005/2020.

Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, Rodrigues, P., Brochado, A., Sousa, A., Borges, A.P. and Barbosa, I. (2023), “What’s on the menu? How celebrity chef brands create happiness”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-12-2021-0988, was published with incorrect funding details. This error was introduced in the production process and has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this error and for any inconvenience caused.

Citation

Rodrigues, P., Brochado, A., Sousa, A., Borges, A.P. and Barbosa, I. (2023), "What’s on the menu? How celebrity chef brands create happiness", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57 No. 9, pp. 2513-2543. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-12-2021-0988

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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