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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2022

Qiushi Gu, Minglong Li and Songshan (Sam) Huang

The use of modern technologies in restaurants has become a trend. For food and beverage services, embracing new technologies helps solve the dilemmas of increasing labor…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of modern technologies in restaurants has become a trend. For food and beverage services, embracing new technologies helps solve the dilemmas of increasing labor costs and the high level of staff turnover in the industry. However, knowledge regarding how consumers perceive and evaluate technology-assisted dining experiences (TADEs) is limited. This study aims to conceptualize and operationalize TADEs while considering increasing technological applications in restaurants.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted in-depth interviews with 71 restaurant consumers in Nanjing and Wuhan, China. Following the interviews, this study carried out a survey and identified the factor structure of TADEs.

Findings

The in-depth interviews identified 26 attributes of TADEs. An analysis of the survey data identified four important aspects (with 21 items) of TADEs, namely, novelty and fashion, convenience, high efficiency and restrictions and possible risks.

Practical implications

Hospitality managers can implement the suggested measures for dining service design and technology management to improve the experiences of customers.

Originality/value

These findings have theoretical implications for the new phenomenon of technology-integrated dining, the application of technology and consumer management in the catering industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 May 2022

Bingjie Liu-Lastres and Han Wen

The purpose of this study was to examine consumers' dining behaviors and explore their decision-making process when dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine consumers' dining behaviors and explore their decision-making process when dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the extended parallel process model (EPPM) and the related literature, a conceptual model was developed and tested. This study conducted an online survey with 351 responses. In addition, a series of statistical analyses, including descriptive analyses and path analyses, were conducted to analyze the associations among key constructs in the proposed model.

Findings

The findings of this study confirmed the pragmatic utility of applying EPPM in a hospitality management context. The findings of this study also outline the different nature between the participants' enactment of self-protective measures and dining out activities. Lastly, while consumers are hesitant about dining out, the results showed that consumers' dining behaviors are directly related to their personality trait of sensation-seeking.

Research limitations/implications

This study was delimited to a cross-sectional design and self-reported data. Such information may provide insights into individuals' decision-making and behaviors related to dining in a COVID-19 context. In addition, this study only includes US samples, while future studies can extend this study by including samples from different countries and cultural backgrounds.

Originality/value

This study adopts an interdisciplinary approach, which derives from tourism and hospitality management and public health. As a result, the findings of this study not only identify the major influencers affecting consumers' dining behavior but also help contextualize a public health model and contribute to the tourism and hospitality management literature.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2022

John Umit Palabiyik, Brendan Cronin, Suzanne D. Markham Bagnera and Mark P. Legg

This study investigates restaurant patrons' comfort level with the sudden shift in the dining-in climate within the state of Massachusetts during the onset of the COVID-19…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates restaurant patrons' comfort level with the sudden shift in the dining-in climate within the state of Massachusetts during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory study utilized learning algorithms via gradient boosting techniques on surveyed restaurant patrons to identify which restaurant operational attributes and patron demographics predict in-dining comfort levels.

Findings

Past consumers' eating habits determine how much their behavior will change during a pandemic. However, their dining-in frequency is not a predictor of their post-pandemic dining-in outlook. The individuals who were more comfortable dining in prior to the pandemic dined in more often during the COVID pandemic. However, they had a poorer outlook on when dining in would return to normal. Although there are no clear indicators of when and how customers will embrace the new norm (a combination of pre-, peri-, and post-pandemic), the results show that some innovative approaches, such as limiting service offerings, are not well accepted by customers.

Practical implications

The study offers several managerial implications for foodservice providers (i.e. restaurants, delivery services, pick-up) and investors. In particular, the study provides insights into the cognitive factors that determine diners' behavioral change in response to a pandemic and their comfort level. Operators must pay attention to these factors and consider different offering strategies when preparing to operate their business amid a pandemic.

Originality/value

This is a study of a specific location and period. It was conducted in Massachusetts before a vaccine was available. The restaurant industry was beset with uncertainty. It fills a gap in the current literature focused on the COVID-19 pandemic in customers' transition from pre-COVID-19 dining-in behaviors to customers' refreshed COVID-19 outlook and industry compliance with newly established hygiene and safety standards.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 June 2022

Xiaodi Sun, Li Ge and Charles Marvil

This study aims to compare customers’ perceived importance of various post-COVID-19 recovery strategies (i.e. sanitary practices, discounts, menu modification and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to compare customers’ perceived importance of various post-COVID-19 recovery strategies (i.e. sanitary practices, discounts, menu modification and marketing strategies) adopted by independent full-service restaurants (casual dining versus upscale/fine dining) using the salience theory. It also assesses the associations between customers’ perceptions and their restaurant spending patterns.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was administered to assess 657 US adult participants’ restaurant spending behaviors at different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic using recall questions. Higher-spending versus lower-spending participants’ perceived importance of restaurant recovery strategies were compared in the casual dining versus upscale/fine dining contexts.

Findings

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitary practices were the most important factor in participants’ restaurant choices, and it was more important for independent casual dining restaurants than for upscale/fine dining restaurants. No significant difference was found in participants’ perceived importance of sanitary practices across different geographic regions. Higher-spending diners (HSD) perceived almost every restaurant recovery strategy as important. Lower-spending diners (LSD) only considered sanitary practices as important.

Practical implications

This study identified important strategies that restaurant operators and public health officials can adopt to help full-service restaurants recover from pandemic losses.

Originality/value

This study differs from previous consumer choice studies; in that it compared HSD with LSD regarding their perceived importance of various restaurant recovery strategies. This study also provides new insights for understanding the salience theory of choice under the impact of COVID-19.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 34 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2022

IpKin Anthony Wong, Jingwen Huang, Zhiwei (CJ) Lin and Haoyue Jiao

Have you been to a smart restaurant, and how were its services? A common limitation of hospitality studies stems from the lack of research on how service quality is shaped…

1041

Abstract

Purpose

Have you been to a smart restaurant, and how were its services? A common limitation of hospitality studies stems from the lack of research on how service quality is shaped within smart technology. This study aims to fill this literature void not merely to reiterate the importance of technology but also to recast service quality through the lens of information technology. It synthesizes the 5-S model of smart service quality (AKA SSQ) as a new conceptualization of service quality application in smart hospitality contexts such as smart restaurants.

Design/methodology/approach

This study undertook a qualitative research design based on theoretical synthesis from service quality, information technology and attention restoration. Drawing from online review comments and semistructured interviews from smart restaurants, the authors improvised the SSQ model to identify the essence of smart service in smart dining establishments.

Findings

“5-S” reflects an extension of the literature to denote a new SSQ abstraction pertinent to s-servicescape, s-assurance, s-responsiveness, s-reliability and s-empathy. A nomological network was posited to better understand the importance of smart design and consequence of SSQ.

Research limitations/implications

The emergence of smart dining gives rise to smart restaurants, which puts technology at center stage. As consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with self-service technology, auto-payment and ordering systems and robotic services, technology in foodservice will continue to play an essential role to better serve diners. Geared with advanced innovations and intelligent devices, smart restaurants are now more than mere eateries. It is a trend and a lifestyle.

Originality/value

This novel SSQ concept adds new nuances to the literature by acknowledging the technological essence in today’s hospitality industry. By integrating smart technology into the service quality paradigm, the authors are able to observe several interesting behaviors exhibited during smart dining, including tech-induced restoration, which opens a new avenue to understand how attention restoration could be attained through immersion in a technologically advanced setting. By synthesizing theoretical essence from service quality, attention restoration and information technology, the authors are able to create a new dialog that should warrant a forum of discussion in future studies.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2022

Tan Vo-Thanh, Mustafeed Zaman, Rajibul Hasan, Shahriar Akter and Thac Dang-Van

This study aims to examine the perceived value of service digitalization in fine-dining restaurants in France. No study exists on this topic, and its aim is to address…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the perceived value of service digitalization in fine-dining restaurants in France. No study exists on this topic, and its aim is to address this research gap. To do so, a conceptual framework of the perceived benefits and costs of the service digitalization was developed. This study also provides actionable recommendations for fine-dining restaurant managers to create and manage an optimized fine-dining experience for their customers.

Design/methodology/approach

To obtain in-depth information, the authors opted for a qualitative research approach. The authors interviewed 24 fine-dining restaurant managers (listed in the Michelin Guide) and 29 customers of fine-dining restaurants using a video titled “The Restaurant of the Future.”

Findings

The findings underline the perceived benefits and costs of service digitalization for both restaurant managers and their customers. This study highlights that fine-dining restaurants are highly experience-centric compared to other types of restaurants and recommends which services should be digitalized and which should not be to create and manage experiences throughout the customer journey.

Practical implications

This research provides restaurants with actionable recommendations in terms of service digitalization to enhance customers’ fine-dining experiences.

Originality/value

This research fills a gap by proposing a conceptual framework to examine the digitalization of services in fine-dining restaurants.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 December 2021

Miyoung Jeong, Kawon Kim, Forest Ma and Robin DiPietro

This study aims to identify key factors that affected US respondents’ dining behavior at restaurants during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

1924

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify key factors that affected US respondents’ dining behavior at restaurants during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the lack of a prior framework or model to test customers’ perceptions of dining-out behavior during this unprecedented time, this study used a mixed-methods approach, conducting two focus group discussions to generate potential restaurant attributes, followed by a US-based survey using an online panel. Using structural equation modeling, this study tested eight developed propositions.

Findings

The findings of this study indicated that the three key factors (i.e. restaurant dining environment, communication and hygiene and contactless features) made customers feel comfortable dining in the restaurant during the pandemic. Out of these three factors, only the restaurant dining environment and communication and hygiene were essential predictors for customers’ perceived trust toward the restaurant, leading to their willingness to pay more. This study used two moderators, customers’ perceived risk and support for restaurants to examine how they affected customers’ perceived trust and willingness to pay, respectively.

Practical implications

This study provides both theoretical and practical implications to the current body of knowledge in customers’ dining-out behavior and the development of operational strategies for restaurants to accommodate customers’ changing dining-out behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To develop a holistic conceptual framework, this study incorporates two COVID-19-focused measurement items, perceived risk and support of the restaurant, to identify their moderating roles in the relationships among the five proposed measurement items. This study provides restaurant operators with insights into the altered dining-out behavior of their customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares them for the post pandemic environment.

Originality/value

During the unprecedented pandemic situation, few customers are willing to dine in restaurants. As local and national governments lifted the mandated COVID-19 protocols, restaurants opened their business slowly to cater to customers in compliance with the centers for disease control’s health and safety regulations. It is of utmost importance for restaurant operators to accommodate their customers’ needs when they dine in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a paucity of research that has examined customers’ comfort level when dining in restaurants and customers’ preferred dining environment during the pandemic.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Pearl M.C. Lin

In view of the intense competition between businesses in the sharing economy and the conventional hospitality industry, this study aims to compare consumers’ private…

Abstract

Purpose

In view of the intense competition between businesses in the sharing economy and the conventional hospitality industry, this study aims to compare consumers’ private social dining and restaurant dining experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with 29 private social diners were conducted to yield 10 dining experiential domains, which were then validated using online survey data from 840 diners across four sample groups – local (Hong Kong) private social diners, local (Hong Kong) restaurant diners, overseas private social diners and overseas restaurant diners – to empirically examine a mechanism through which the dining experience influences diners’ psychological and behavioral responses.

Findings

The significant differences emerged among the four sample groups in their evaluations of dining experiences. The mediating role of memorability appeared weaker in overseas settings than in local settings.

Practical implications

The findings suggest restaurateurs be creative and open-minded in designing dining experiences that go beyond food-related satisfaction. Destination marketers should also find the findings insightful because they can diversify their catering offerings by differentiating private social dining with conventional restaurants.

Originality/value

The study presents a novel angle on experiential consumption in the sharing economy to focus on food-sharing activities, which is thought to complement the currently skewed research focus in the sharing economy. A theoretically driven mechanism was also validated to explain the experiential differences between conventional restaurants and private social dining.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Mohammed Lefrid

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the dining experience elements at gas stations foodservice outlets: (1) food quality, (2) service quality, (3…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the dining experience elements at gas stations foodservice outlets: (1) food quality, (2) service quality, (3) convenience and (4) atmospherics on customers' overall satisfaction and behavioral intention. This study also examines the mediating effect of overall satisfaction on dining experience elements and behavioral intention.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies a quantitative approach, using partial least square-structural equation modeling for analysis. Survey data were collected online from 231 participants in the United States.

Findings

Convenience and food quality are strong predictors of gas station food purchasing overall satisfaction and behavioral intention. Meanwhile, service quality and atmospherics were not statistically significant.

Research limitations/implications

This study's survey was conducted online. Participants reflected on their dining experience at gas station dining outlets in the prior week.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the existing foodservice literature by exploring dining at gas stations. It also provides a new insight into the importance of convenience in influencing overall satisfaction and behavior intention in a gas station foodservice setting.

Social implications

This study helps with the understanding of consumer behavior and expectations of a fast-food setting. This study helps with enhancing convenience in order to improve the customers' experience and reduce their daily stress relating to wait time for purchasing fast-food meals.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine consumer experience at a gas station food service setting.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Janet Chang, Alastair M. Morrison, Ya-Ling Chen, Te-Yi Chang and Daniela Zih-Yu Chen

The research objectives were to: (1) examine the relationship among motivations, satisfaction and loyalty with plant-based food dining at destinations; (2) determine if…

Abstract

Purpose

The research objectives were to: (1) examine the relationship among motivations, satisfaction and loyalty with plant-based food dining at destinations; (2) determine if and how the attractiveness of eating plant-based foods moderates satisfaction and loyalty; and (3) investigate potential differences in visitor background information and consumption characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted at tourist attractions in southern Taiwan and 274 valid questionnaires were obtained. The relationships among motivations, satisfaction and loyalty were investigated when eating plant-based foods during travel. The moderating effects of food attractiveness on motivations and satisfaction/loyalty were measured.

Findings

The results indicated a positive relationship between motivations and satisfaction/loyalty in plant-based food dining. Motivations for plant-based food dining were comprised of four domains (physical, cultural, interpersonal and prestige) and satisfaction and loyalty had three (overall satisfaction, intention to revisit and intention to recommend).

Research limitations/implications

The major implications were that motivations had a significant effect on satisfaction and loyalty; food attractiveness did not moderate the effect of motivations on satisfaction/loyalty; and background characteristics influenced satisfaction and loyalty.

Practical implications

Marketers and strategic planners for plant-based restaurants or those with plant-based meal options must make a greater effort to understand the distinctive demographic and dietary characteristics of the people who comprise the core of this market.

Originality/value

This research adds to the very limited literature on plant-based and vegetarian dining in tourism destinations. Furthermore, it tests, partially validates and expands a model by Kim et al. (2009) for consuming local food while traveling. The findings also complement the considerable evidence linking motivations to satisfaction and loyalty when dining.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 6000