Restaurant Customers' Healthy Menu Consumption Intention: An Investigation on Motives, Barriers, and Restaurant Environmental Factors
In order to understand restaurant customers’ healthy menu consumption behaviors, the current study developed a comprehensive model explaining why customers are engaged in healthy menu consumption behaviors in terms of two aspects: internal and external factors. More specifically, it examined the underlying constructs of customers’ individual motives and perceived barriers (internal factors) for eating healthy and of restaurants’ environmental factors (external factors) that encourage or discourage customers’ healthy eating. The study further investigated the impacts of those factors on restaurant customer’s healthy menu item consumption intentions. Lastly, the study examined whether there is a gender difference in key factors influencing healthy menu consumption intention. Results revealed that ten internal factors (health, body image, weight control, feeling better, unappealing food, cost perception, lack of knowledge, state of mind (stress), lack of self-control, and negative influence from others), and five external factors such as healthy indication, social impact, availability of healthy menu, price policy, and unhealthy indication may influence customers’ healthy eating. It further suggested that restaurant customers’ internal desire to be healthy and feeling rewarded by having healthier options were identified as the two most important factors influencing their healthy menu item consumption intention in a restaurant. In addition, customers’ motivation to control their weight was identified as another important factor to elicit their consumption intention on a healthy menu in a restaurant. Furthermore, the barrier of “unappealing food” is the most influential barrier that customers may have for healthy menu item consumption and their lack of self-control for not eating unhealthy food were also significant barriers that negatively influenced their healthy menu dish consumption intention. The last part of the study, which investigated the moderating effect of gender, suggested that statistically, there are no significant differences in fundamental internal or external causes of healthy behavior between males and females. The findings of the current study enhance the existing literature of consumers’ healthy eating behavior by providing important theoretical implications of the study as well as by providing practical implications for effective marketing strategies in the context of healthy menu promotion in restaurants. The detailed discussions and implications are provided in the main body of the paper.
Jang, Purdue University.
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