Is satisfaction enough to ensure reciprocity with upscale restaurants? The role of gratitude relative to satisfaction

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32 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate the role of gratitude, relative to satisfaction, that underlies reciprocal behavior in the upscale restaurant industry. The findings showed that gratitude served as a more reliable and stronger predictor of favorable reciprocal behavior compared to satisfaction. Relational benefits, including confidence, social, and special treatment benefits, were found to be the most powerful antecedents to gratitude. Food quality caused the most satisfaction and simultaneously evoked a feeling of gratitude. Employee service quality affected only satisfaction. The physical environment alone did not influence either gratitude or satisfaction. Gratitude prompted favorable reciprocal behavior, whereas satisfaction did not. Examining the differential effects of antecedents on gratitude vs. satisfaction will enable restaurant managers to understand the different consequences and distinct emotional features between gratitude and satisfaction, and thus establish strong reciprocity with customers by evoking feelings of gratitude.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Gratitude
  • Reciprocal behaviors
  • Relationship benefits
  • Satisfaction
  • Upscale restaurant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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