Many restaurants offer high-quality service to their customers, hoping to provide memorable experiences that influence their loyalty and electronic word of mouth (eWOM). However, consumers' memorable experiences do not always imply positive eWOM. This study aims to (1) verify the direct impacts of the perceived quality by consumers of casual dining restaurants on positive emotions, negative emotions and memorable experiences; (2) investigate the impacts of memorable experiences on the propensity to loyalty and eWOM; (3) test the moderating effect of consumer behavioural engagement on social networking sites (CBE-SNS) on the relationship between memorable experiences and eWOM.
This survey included 475 university students in Brazil. Participants answered an electronic form about their experiences in casual dining restaurants. Structural equation modelling tested the hypothetical model based on the stimulus-organism-response (S-O-R) theory (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974).
The quality perceived by restaurant consumers (stimulus) positively impacts their memorable experiences and positive emotions and negatively affects their negative emotions (organism). Memorable experiences positively impact the propensity to loyalty (response). The CBE-SNS moderates the intensity of the relationship between memorable experiences (organism) and eWOM (response).
This study is the first that demonstrates the relationships between perceived quality, positive and negative emotions, memorable experiences, the propensity to loyalty and CBE-SNS and e-WOM in restaurants. Casual dining restaurants must offer their customers services with high perceived quality, positively impacting their emotions and their memorable experiences. Finally, restaurants must create strategies and actions to increase the CBE-SNS to encourage them to share their memorable experiences through eWOM.
Funding: This paper is financed by National Funds provided by FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology through project UIDB/04020/2020.
Souki, G.Q., Oliveira, A.S.d., Guerreiro, M.M.M., Mendes, J.d.C. and Moura, L.R.C. (2022), "Do memorable restaurant experiences affect eWOM? The moderating effect of consumers' behavioural engagement on social networking sites", The TQM Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-06-2022-0200
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