Examining Restaurant Purchase Intention During Crises: The Role of Message Appeal

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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

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Purpose: This paper aims to examine the joint role of the pandemic-induced source of crisis (i.e. health and social crisis) based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and message appeal in customer perception of and behavioral intention toward a restaurant. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a 2 (source of crisis: social, health) × 2 (message appeal: social, health) between-subjects factorial design. A total of 181 samples was collected and data was analyzed by using ANCOVA and PROCESS. Findings: The results showed a significant two-way interaction between source of crisis and message appeal on to-go intention. With the potential effect of risk aversion being controlled, message appeal significantly impacted perceived competence, which influenced both dine-in and to-go intentions. Practical implications: The research findings suggest a crucial role of perceived fit between message appeal and customer concerns during crises. Therefore, restaurant managers should actively communicate their safety practices with their customers to inspire customer confidence. Originality/value: This study identifies crisis dimensions based on human needs during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which determines the persuasiveness of marketing messages.


Competence judgement; Dining intention; Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; Perceived fit; Risk aversion; Source of crisis


Food and Beverage Management




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