So private, yet so public: The impact of spatial distance, other diners, and power on solo dining experiences

Yoo Hee Hwang, Joongwon Shin, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Solo consumption contributes 1.9 trillion dollars to the US economy annually. However, there is scant research understanding solo consumption experiences. To fill this gap, we investigate the joint effect of spatial distance and other diners on enjoyment in solo dining. Results from Study 1 show that, when the spatial distance between the dining tables is small and nearby diners are solo diners (vs. social diners), individuals form a more favorable attitude towards their fellow customers. Such in-group bias has a positive impact on enjoyment. Study 2 investigates the moderating effect of power in influencing the impact of others on solo dining. Results show that powerless individuals evaluate solo dining experiences more (vs. less) favorably when the spatial distance between tables is large (vs. small). Conversely, powerful individuals’ ratings of solo dining experiences are uniformly favorable regardless of spatial distance. Implications for service providers catering to solo consumers will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • In-group bias
  • Power
  • Social impact
  • Solo consumer
  • Solo dining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

Cite this