Diners’ responses to talent vs. effort of restaurant employees

Yoo Hee Hwang, Joongwon Shin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


When presenting employees’ laudable performance, shall restaurant managers emphasize effort or talent of their employees as the source of such performance? This study is proposed to answer this question. We suggest that diners’ responses to employees’ effort vs. talent hinge on diners’ need to belong and restaurant type. Study 1 shows that diners’ need to belong moderates their responses to effort- vs. talent-focused messages. Study 2 finds that restaurant type (casual vs. fine dining) moderates diners’ responses to effort- vs. talent-focused messages. Diners’ perceptions of fit with employees (Study 1) and persuasiveness of a message (Study 2) are mechanisms underlying the proposed moderating effects. Restaurant managers may benefit from tailoring their messages conveying employee performance on the basis of diners’ need to belong and restaurant type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102958
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Message persuasiveness
  • Need to belong
  • Perceived fit
  • Restaurant marketing
  • Social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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