Purpose– Consumers dine at luxury restaurants for reasons beyond fulfilling basic needs; however, little is known about the factors that contribute to diners’ loyalty. The purpose of this paper is to examine diners’ luxury restaurant consumption behavior by incorporating product knowledge into a modified Mehrabian-Russell model. Design/methodology/approach– Following exploratory qualitative research, 238 consumers who have dined at Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred luxury restaurants were recruited for the main study. The data were analyzed through structural equation modeling. Findings– The results show that luxury restaurants’ stimuli (i.e. food quality, service quality, and atmospherics) influence diners’ emotions, which in turn affect their brand loyalty. Furthermore, food quality can directly influence diners’ loyalty toward the restaurant. Third, diners’ product knowledge can moderate the relationships between restaurant stimuli and diners’ emotion. Research limitations/implications– This study offers new empirical support for the proposition that product knowledge has a role in building brand loyalty and thereby shades both theoretical and managerial understanding of the luxury restaurant consumption process. Originality/value– This study is one of the first to conceptualize diners’ loyalty toward luxury restaurants by examining the influences of restaurants’ stimuli and diners’ knowledge toward luxury restaurants. In addition, this study puts forth some managerial implications for practitioners.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015
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