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What drives restaurant competitive productivity (CP): a comprehensive examination at meso-micro levels

Meehee Cho (College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Mark A. Bonn (Dedman School of Hospitality and Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)
Hyo Sun Jung (Center for Converging Humanities, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 21 May 2021

Issue publication date: 15 September 2021




This study identified essential drivers of competitive productivity (CP) within the restaurant context at the meso-micro levels. Following evidence from previous research, this paper aims to discover if the relationships between the proposed drivers and restaurant competitive productivity (RCP) would differ based upon years in operations as a restaurant business (startup vs established).


Data analysis was conducted using responses obtained from US restaurant managers. Structural equation modeling assessed the hypothesized relationships. Additionally, multi-group analyses were conducted to test the proposed moderating roles of restaurant firm age within the proposed model.


Results documented that competitive personality, development and motivation were positively associated with employee competitive productivity (ECP) at the micro-level. Also, ECP, employee training, resource rareness, brand image and organizational culture were significantly and positively related to RCP at the meso-level. Additionally, the positive relationships between ECP and organizational culture, and RCP were greater in the established restaurant group compared with the startup group. However, the relationship between brand image and RCP was greater in the restaurant startup group than in the established group.

Practical implications

This study offered empirical evidence regarding a combination of meso and micro level drivers and their roles in improving RCP. Findings can be adopted to develop effective operational strategies to improve RCP.


Although RCP is critical and is proposed to be created by a comprehensive set of drivers considering organizational (meso-) and individual (micro-) situations, no literature has yet to adopt this comprehensive approach to assess RCP. This study focused on firm age and offered new knowledge about the need for developing specific strategies to improve RCP.



Cho, M., Bonn, M.A. and Jung, H.S. (2021), "What drives restaurant competitive productivity (CP): a comprehensive examination at meso-micro levels", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 9, pp. 3065-3090.



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