Dining in the sharing economy: a comparison of private social dining and restaurants

Pearl M.C. Lin, Chihyung Michael Ok, Wai Ching Au

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In view of the intense competition between businesses in the sharing economy and the conventional hospitality industry, this study aims to compare consumers’ private social dining and restaurant dining experiences. Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews with 29 private social diners were conducted to yield 10 dining experiential domains, which were then validated using online survey data from 840 diners across four sample groups – local (Hong Kong) private social diners, local (Hong Kong) restaurant diners, overseas private social diners and overseas restaurant diners – to empirically examine a mechanism through which the dining experience influences diners’ psychological and behavioral responses. Findings: The significant differences emerged among the four sample groups in their evaluations of dining experiences. The mediating role of memorability appeared weaker in overseas settings than in local settings. Practical implications: The findings suggest restaurateurs be creative and open-minded in designing dining experiences that go beyond food-related satisfaction. Destination marketers should also find the findings insightful because they can diversify their catering offerings by differentiating private social dining with conventional restaurants. Originality/value: The study presents a novel angle on experiential consumption in the sharing economy to focus on food-sharing activities, which is thought to complement the currently skewed research focus in the sharing economy. A theoretically driven mechanism was also validated to explain the experiential differences between conventional restaurants and private social dining.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


  • Dining experience
  • Experience economy
  • Private social dining
  • Restaurant
  • Sharing economy
  • Word-of-mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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