Impact of Restaurant Sanitation on Consumer Perceptions, Emotions, and Behavioral Intentions

Haeik Park, Purdue University


These days, eating away from home has become a spontaneous activity occurring in our daily life for a variety of reasons. Restaurant industry sales have gradually increased since the 1970s. As the restaurant industry continues to grow, unfortunately, foodborne illness outbreaks still occur. Consumers concern about food safety and health, and sanitation has been increased. Thus, physical environment may be the important determinants for consumers to judge sanitation in restaurants. As the first stage, this dissertation study determined that five sanitation dimensions (food handling, dining room experience, exterior, restroom, and employee) and the sanitation emotion set (contentment, acceptance, happiness, joy, disgust, discontent, anger, and worry) in full service restaurants. In the second stage, consumers’ emotional responses and behavioral intention were tested on the sanitation dimensions in the three different restaurant settings, casual dining, quick-service, and fine dining restaurants. There were the most strongly felt emotion (disgust) and important sanitation dimension (food) was found. Thirdly, consumers’ emotional response and behavioral intention were again tested on six sanitation dimension in the two different restaurant settings, quick-service and fine dining restaurants. Food sanitation dimension was revealed as the most important dimension in both quick-service and fine dining restaurants. The characteristics of sanitation attributes was tested and it was found that there was no relation with must-be quality. Finally, theoretical and practical implications were discussed.




Almanza, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Business administration|Marketing

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