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The effect of message framings and green practices on customers’ attitudes and behavior intentions toward green restaurants

Yang Xu (Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)
EunHa Jeong (Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 13 February 2019

Issue publication date: 4 September 2019

2664

Abstract

Purpose

This study identifies an effective communication strategy for promoting restaurants’ green efforts to customers by using different types of green advertisement messages. This study aims to investigate the relative persuasiveness of attribute-based versus benefit-based appeal messages in green restaurant advertisements and their matching effect with different types of green practices in the restaurant (environment-focused green practices vs food-focused green practices) and with different types of restaurants (fine dining vs fast casual dining) on customers’ attitude and visiting intention toward green restaurants. Furthermore, the study examines a moderating effect of restaurant types to assess whether the matching effects between types of messages and types of green practices work differently within the different types of restaurants.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (attribute-based vs benefit-based messages) × 2 (food-focused vs environment-focused green practices) × 2 (fast casual vs fine dining restaurants) between-subject experimental design was used to test the proposed hypotheses. An online scenario-based survey was developed and distributed to online panel members in the USA. Ultimately, 363 responses were used for data analyses. ANOVA and t-test were conducted to analyze the data.

Findings

The results indicate that benefit-based messages are generally more persuasive than attribute-based messages in green restaurant advertisements. For restaurants with food-focused green practices, an advertising message emphasizing the benefit of food-focused green practices (benefit-based message) would be more effective than an advertising message describing their tangible efforts to show the greenness of the restaurant (attribute-based message). For fine dining restaurants, a green advertisement with benefit-based information would be more persuasive than attribute-based information. This study further showed that the aforementioned interaction effect between types of green practices and types of messages was salient for fine dining restaurants.

Originality/value

This research is one of the few studies in restaurant management to examine the green communication effectiveness in terms of the types of green practices and the types of advertising message framing. By comparing the relative persuasiveness of green advertisements on consumers’ attitudes and behavior intentions, this study provides suggestions for restaurant professionals to make effective green communication strategies based on the type of green practices the restaurant primarily uses and the type of restaurant the manager is operating.

Keywords

Citation

Xu, Y. and Jeong, E. (2019), "The effect of message framings and green practices on customers’ attitudes and behavior intentions toward green restaurants", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 2270-2296. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2018-0386

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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