Regional effects on customer satisfaction with restaurants

Ziqiong Zhang, Zili Zhang, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how regional factors affect customer satisfaction in the food service sector. This is achieved through investigating the moderating effects on the most important attributes of restaurants. Design/methodology/approach: Hierarchical linear models, comprising customer observations nested within regions, were developed to explore whether there is any variance in customer satisfaction with the restaurants of an international chain (hereafter known as K Restaurants) across 52 regions in China and which regional factors contribute to understanding such variance. Findings: The results indicate that there is an apparent difference in customer satisfaction across regions. Regional consumption level can positively (negatively) moderate the relationship between food taste (physical environment) and customer satisfaction. Economic condition and population density have a negative moderating effect on the relationship between the physical environment and customer satisfaction. Education level, however, does not have any regional effect on satisfaction. Practical implications: Multinational companies or chain corporations must account for regional influences when evaluating their performance based on customer satisfaction surveys. Standardization across a nation is not necessarily the best approach because the various regions of a nation may differ in terms of socioeconomic condition. Originality/value: This pioneering study examines the moderating effects of regional factors on the relationships between the attribute qualities of a restaurant and customer satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-722
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2013


  • China
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Hierarchical linear models
  • Moderating effects
  • Online customer reviews
  • Regional factors
  • Restaurants
  • Rural regions
  • Urban regions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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