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Females’ customer engagement with eco-friendly restaurants in Instagram: the role of past visits

Estefania Ballester (Department of Marketing and Marketing Research, Business Studies Faculty, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Carla Ruiz-Mafé (Department of Marketing and Marketing Research, Business Studies Faculty, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Natalia Rubio (Department of Finance and Marketing Research, Business Studies Faculty, Autónoma University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

98

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect on the customer brand engagement (CBE) of followers of an eco-friendly restaurant of their perceptions of the originality of the firm-generated content posted online by the restaurant and the effect of CBE on brand advocacy and behavioural intentions to visit the restaurant, paying special attention to the moderating role of past visits to the restaurant.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling with a sample of 491 female Instagram users who follow the online account of a particular eco-friendly dining establishment. Two group comparisons were conducted to test the moderating effects in relationships between CBE and consumer–brand interactions (behavioural intentions to visit the restaurant and brand advocacy).

Findings

Followers’ perceptions of the originality of the material posted by the eco-friendly restaurant had a positive influence on CBE which, in turn, affected brand advocacy and behavioural intentions to visit the restaurant. Past visits moderated the relationship between CBE and consumer–brand interactions.

Practical implications

This study offers restaurants an understanding of how to develop marketing strategies targeted at females on visual-based social networks; it is shown that original posts encourage favourable responses, such as CBE, brand advocacy and behavioural intentions. Managers should organise events and invite their female followers to visit the restaurant.

Originality/value

This study adds to the knowledge about customer engagement by explaining how firm-generated content posted on Instagram drives CBE and provides specific suggestions as to how restauranteurs might engage online with their clients. This study goes beyond direct effects and analyses the moderating role of past visits to the restaurant on the relationships between CBE and consumer–brand interactions (visiting intentions and brand advocacy).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation-Spanish Agency for Research under Grant PID2019-111195RB-I00/ AEI / 10.13039/501100011033.

Citation

Ballester, E., Ruiz-Mafé, C. and Rubio, N. (2022), "Females’ customer engagement with eco-friendly restaurants in Instagram: the role of past visits", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-02-2022-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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