This paper aims to examine diners’ luxury restaurant consumption behavior by incorporating diner expectations into a modified Mehrabian–Russell model. Consumers dine at luxury restaurants for reasons beyond fulfilling basic needs. However, little is known about the factors that contribute to diners’ emotions and loyalty toward luxury restaurants.
To examine the proposed six hypotheses, qualitative and quantitative studies were performed. Following exploratory qualitative research, 310 consumers who dined at Taiwan’s five-star hotel restaurants were recruited for the main study. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.
The results show that restaurants’ stimuli influence diners’ positive and negative emotions (organisms), which, in turn, affect their loyalty toward luxury restaurants (responses). Furthermore, customers with different levels of expectation react differently to stimuli.
This study offers new empirical support for the proposition that diner expectation plays a role in building customer loyalty and, thereby, shades both theoretical and managerial understanding of the luxury restaurant consumption process.
This study conceptualizes diners’ loyalty toward luxury restaurants (e.g. revisiting and recommending luxury restaurants) by examining the influence of restaurants’ stimuli, diners’ emotions and customers’ expectations toward luxury restaurants. Additionally, this study offers some managerial implications for practitioners.