In accordance with the needs of passengers who prefer diversification and segmentation, food and beverage (F&B) restaurants in airports strive to build a loyal customer base by providing enticing benefits and forming special relationships with passengers through customer satisfaction programs. These initiatives reduce marketing and operating costs, increase profits, and provide loyal passengers with ample justification to use their products and services through their own promotional strategies rather than accept price discounts from competitors (Kim, 2018; Park et al., 2017).
A restaurant menu should reflect organization's goals and market conditions, budget, physical facilities, human resources, technology, and the production and service systems from the manager's viewpoint. Likewise, customer preferences, dining habits, and nutritional requirements must also be considered. In other words, the menu should satisfy customers while generating profit for the restaurant’s stakeholders (Han and Lee, 2017).
Recent research shows impulsive ordering behavior greatly impacts the profitability of F&B restaurants in airports, but research related to impulsive decision-making is insufficient. In other words, the literature lacks sufficient analyses of consumers’ impulsive purchase behavior. Basic data is meaningful for the development of marketing strategies that can maximize the impulse buying behavior of customers who choose to dine at F&B airport restaurants.
The physical stimuli of existing F&B restaurants have been constantly scrutinized by scholars and F&B operators, but impulsive decision behavior related to menu characteristics has not been researched sufficiently. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate factors that affect menu navigation time and consumer trust in F&B restaurants to analyze the menu’s effect on impulse buying behavior. Based on the results of the analysis, this paper derives theoretical and practical implications to improve the growth and development of F&B restaurants located in airports. Based on this research, we will provide basic guidelines for developing restaurant menus in the future.
II. Theoretical Backgrounds
For customers, a menu conveys the restaurant’s products, recommendations, and specials. Before customers decide what to order, they typically spend time perusing and comparing menu items. This indirect purchase experience stimulates impulsive buying behavior. In other words, search time in the restaurant relates positively to impulsive buying behavior from the perspective of the restaurant owners. Based on the definition of in-store navigation as applied to restaurants, this study defines menu “navigation” as a menu item review with no immediate intent to order. Also, customers spend more time navigating the menu at a premium restaurant than at a regular restaurant.
From a company’s perspective, “available time” means the amount of time the shopper feels comfortable while considering what the store offers (Han and Lee, 2017; Lee and Lee, 2007). If consumers feel pressured while browsing within a store, they will experience psychological discomfort, thereby diminishing their willingness to purchase or consume. As a result, time pressure negatively impacts impulsive buying behavior. For example, Iyer (1989) conducted an empirical experiment with sixty-eight consumers and found that time pressure significantly reduced unplanned purchases by consumers. Likewise, in a restaurant setting, customers who feel pressed for time tend to reduce menu navigation time and order quickly, thus impeding impulsive actions.
Price can be used by customers as a product evaluation clue, that is, strengthening or weakening their confidence and expectations for the specific product (Zeithaml, 1988). Price is an important criterion to judge value. Parsa and Njite (2004) suggested that restrictive and optional factors affect restaurant menu selection. Restricting factors include a reference to price range, pricing system, location of menu items, pictures of menu items, and optional elements including menu descriptions, health indicators, employee referrals, sales promotions, and past experiences. Kim, G. J.(2010) stated that the taste of the meal is the most important factor for menu re-selection, followed by price.
Enjoyment is a fundamental element of leisure and an indispensable component of leisure activity immersion. As the anticipated pleasure is perceived when the individual performs a specific act, the intention to engage and participate in that act increases (Teo, Lim & Lai, 1999; Davis, Bagozzi & Warshaw, 1989).
Scanlan and Simons (1992) defined "positive and emotional responses to experiences, that is, experiences that express excitement, joy, fun, and more." The pleasure in dining out is not simply to consume food prepared for you elsewhere, rather the pursuit of vitality in life as judged through pleasurable feelings; therefore, the experience is expected to appear fun and diverse while provoking curiosity.
Contextual factors such as family members' opinions as well as the mood and disposition of consumers while in the service environment are also important (Zeithaml, Bitner & Gremler, 2006). The term “ambience,” first used by Kotler (1973), was defined in his work as “an effort to decorate the purchasing environment in order to express emotional effects that are generally indicative of the characteristics of the surrounding environment.” Since the concept of ambience is a marketing tool that can influence the decision-making process, it is important for retail establishments to stimulate the perceptual and emotional responses of consumers by creating the appropriate combination of color space, lighting, sound, and furnishings.
The influence of factors that constitute the perceived special ambience of restaurants on the emotional and behavioral responses of consumers has been studied extensively (Baker, Levy & Grewal, 1992). For example, in sales, the physical attractiveness of employees is regarded as an important attribute required by employees (McElroy and DeCarlo, 1999). The implication of attractiveness differs, but it generally refers to physical attractiveness. Attractive people are considered friendlier and more understanding, and their attractiveness has a positive impact on others (Dion et al. 1972). Previous studies have shown that the attractiveness of service providers has a direct effect on customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty (Gabbott and Hogg 2000).
Trust is one of the very important factors in industrial marketing situations, also known as business-to-business relationships (Ganesan 1994). In addition, trust in retail environments also reflects personal relationships between service providers and customers (Crosby et al., 1990).
Given the nature of service, most services are difficult to evaluate until after customers have experienced them. Therefore, the concept and role of trust—that might overcome intangible and variable factors of these services to form and maintain relationships between customers and service providers—becomes crucial.
Lewis and Weigert (1985) argued that emotional and cognitive dimensions exist independently in the formation of trust. The results of this study are as follows. First, it is suggested that trust is generated on two separate grounds, rationality and emotion. Therefore, trust is formed by separate cognitive and emotional judgments on a certain object of trust, thus resulting in specific attitudes and behavior toward trust. They are divided into emotional trust, which emanates from positive emotions of trust, and cognitive trust, which is based on rational reasons to trust something or someone.
Emotional trust is derived from a strong positive emotional response toward the one being trusted. It refers to trust between the trusting and the trusted based on emotional ties and mutual understanding based on consideration, integrity, and similarity (McAllister, 1995). Cognitive trust means that there are legitimate reasons for trusting others.
Parasuraman et al. (1985) argued that trust is required for building relationships in service marketing because customers typically have to purchase something before they experience the service. That is, in the case of service, trust plays a central role in forming a service-based relationship based on various characteristics such as the intangibility of the service.
Menus should be able to satisfy the various needs of customers as a communication tool that engages restaurants with customers bilaterally. In order to provide a diverse menu to consumers in the food service industry, it should be created after considering market range and possible trends in a broad sense (Kim et al., 2011). The customer may be influenced by various factors before selecting or consuming the food through the presentation of the menu item itself, and the eventual menu selection may vary according to individual factors of the consumer. Among the studies related to tendencies and menu selection behavior, it is clear that social factors influence food selection together with personal factors such as taste, healthiness, social status, and food pricing (Biloukha & Utermohlen, 2000).
Menu satisfaction is defined as the degree of satisfaction gained by the customer from the food or service, restaurant’s meal choices, and individual characteristics; these influence the degree of involvement and motivation of menu satisfaction that is attainable by food catering customers. This study showed that the F&B menu composition and service had positive effects on customer satisfaction, and that this satisfaction improved the rate in which consumers intended to return.
Satisfactory menu composition includes diversity, originality, environmentally friendly and healthy ingredients, seasonal menus, and menu services classified into efficiency, menu descriptions, comfort, and menu recommendations.
Third-party authentication is a typical mechanism for establishing trust. Objective evidence demonstrates the capabilities and expectations of a third party that two parties trust (Cook & Luo, 2003). Generally, when there is no knowledge of the counterpart, simply knowing that the counterpart is associated with a universally trusted third party makes it more reliable (McEvily et al., 2003).
The importance of corporate reputations has been studied and discussed by various scholars for many years, especially since the 1990s when interest increased (Deephouse, 2002) as a result of Fortune magazine’s survey of the “Most Admired Companies.” Also, Dowling (2001) stated that reputation is highly valued as it signals that persons with knowledge of the company are impressed by it enough to recommend it. That is, by harboring favorable feelings about a company, people are more apt to define its reputation as strongly recommendable to others as trustworthy, supportive, offering assured quality, and so on. Dowling also emphasized that an evaluation that originates from an image or impression of a company will be incorporated into the corporate reputation when it is accentuated based on the relative validity of the evaluation from factors such as external sources, confidentiality, formality, and dignity.
If we look at the notion of fame similarly defined by many scholars, we can find something in common. First, it results over a long period of time. Second, it is recognition based on input from various internal and external public sources. Third, it is an overall evaluation of companies based on various factors. Fourth, this reputation is a "collective assessment" by the public of the enterprise that incorporates various viewpoints and factors; many of which are components presented by scholars with diverse opinions (McEvily et al., 2003).
Word of mouth is the flow of information from person to person, and it is defined differently by many researchers. Dowling(2001) explained word of mouth as "face-to-face communication based on individual experiences."
In Rich(1997), negativity was explained as advice given to others regarding a disappointing product or retailer. Rich further described personal influences, both individual and group, as being related to the nature of influence and not limited to verbal communication. Measuring the effects of word of mouth can be divided into evaluation of the product, attitude shifts, intent to purchase, degree of recommendation, and so on. First, the acceptance of word-of-mouth information can be used as an indicator of purchase intention, purchase attitude, and so on, while word-of-mouth proliferation and redirection can be expressed as word-of-mouth activities (Chu and Kim, 2011).
Impulse is one of the instincts of human beings. In psychology, there is a sudden intention to act without thoughtfulness, an urge that happens instantaneously when affected by certain stimulation. In addition, impulse buying refers to buying behaviors that are carried out without prior knowledge of the problem or purchase intention before the consumer enters the store (Cook and Luo, 2008).
Impulse purchases are based on specific stimuli. This is understood as a concept distinct from habitual buying behaviors, in other words, an act that a consumer does not plan in advance. When a product is purchased as a result of an impulsive decision, it is categorized as being similar to an unplanned purchase. Impulse purchasing is defined as a decision to buy “in the moment,” void of pre-thought, unintentional, and with no conscious perception of potential problems before entering the particular store.
Impulse buying is a sudden and fleeting consumer experience; it is triggered by an intense desire to buy something instantly. Although pleasurable, it can also be complicated and often leads to emotional conflicts after it occurs without considering purchase outcomes.
Most research on impulse buying explains it as purchase behavior that occurs in the absence of cognitive information processing or purchase intent. It is also considered an irrational, dangerous, and often wasteful tendency (Solnick et al., 1980).
In a study by Thompson, Locander, and Pollio (1990), impulse purchasing is essentially based on emotional judgment, and that emotional judgment is not always considered unreasonable. Conversely, some studies about impulse purchasing are based on the assumption that impulsive purchasing is a fundamentally negative concept (Ainslie 1975; Solnick et al., 1980).
The one common premise of previous studies is that impulse buying is clearly differentiated from rational purchasing. Zhang and Shrum (2009) defines impulse buying as "emotional conflict behavior in which a consumer purchases a product by voluntary purchase impulse when the buyer is exposed to certain stimuli without specific plans for purchase." Although impulse buying is actually an unplanned purchase, all unplanned purchases cannot be called impulsive purchasing.
Shafir et al. (1993) found that consumers tend to rationalize purchasing by searching for plausible justification of their reasoning during the purchase decision process. Specifically, in the case of hedonic products, this justification tendency is more profound than in the decision -making process for utility products (Baumeister, 2002).
III. Research Design
In a restaurant setting, when customers feel pressed for time, they tend to reduce their time spent navigating the menu and order quickly instead. This impedes impulsive actions.
Also, this study assumes that the amount a person is prepared to spend is a key prerequisite for menu navigation. Therefore, customers who do not want relatively high-quality products are more likely to avoid paying premium prices for high quality. Conversely, consumers who place high value on the quality of a product or service will pay higher prices to get a premium product. The hypothesis is as follows.
In marketing research literature, the pleasure of shopping refers to the enjoyment an individual derives from the shopping process. This logic can be applied to dining in a fine restaurant. In this sense, it can be assumed that the degree of enjoyment of customers dining out becomes a precondition for menu browsing time.
When comfortable, the customer takes longer to browse the menu. For instance, pleasant background music, comfortable internal temperatures, and tempting aromas of cooked food cause similar behavior. In contrast, unpleasant odors or uncomfortable internal temperatures generate an avoidance response which reduces menu navigation time. In conclusion, the atmosphere of a restaurant is a prerequisite for increased menu browsing time.
In the service field, customers are more likely to directly experience services in the production and delivery of those services in such a manner that feelings like satisfaction and loyalty are more easily affected when provided by employees compared to purchasing products directly of shelves.
Background literature supports the idea that customer satisfaction with a menu plays an important role in establishing trust in restaurants. For example, Hyun and Han used data collected from 487 restaurant customers to empirically investigate the satisfaction of chain restaurant brands and satisfaction with previously ordered menu items. Their structural model analysis revealed a significant and positive relationship between the two configurations. Therefore, the following assumptions about the relationship between satisfaction and trust can be derived.
Today, many restaurants exhibit, as symbols of credibility, all third-party logos and emblems awarded or granted by external /internal and private/public agencies (e.g., Food and Drug Administration, travel bureaus, restaurant associations, and others). As a result, proven third-party recommendations help raise a company's profits. Existing empirical research supports that third-party evidence positively influences trust formation in consumer psychology.
Brand prestige refers to the relatively high status of goods in relation to trademarks. Quality brands with these characteristics generally command higher prices than brands that are not considered equally. For this reason, first-class brands are purchased by a limited demographic with economic power or social status.
Word of mouth evaluations relate to the degree in which a consumer is willing to personally recommend or discourage the consumption or acquisition of a company's product to others. From a consumer's point of view, the likelihood that a product or service will be included in a set of possible considerations increases after receiving positive support or direct referrals for the product.
An indirect purchase experience allows consumers to feel as if they are buying everything inside the store. This experience stimulates impulsive buying behavior. In other words, search time in the store has a positive relationship with impulsive buying behavior. Based on the definition of in-store navigation, this study defines menu navigation in a restaurant as a menu item review despite having no immediate intent to order. At a premium restaurant, customers spend more time navigating the menu than at a regular restaurant.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the variables affecting menu navigation time and those affecting trust, Therefore, the survey sample for the empirical study was targeted to flight passengers who had previously experienced an F&B restaurant located in an airport. A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed during the winter vacation season in the Incheon International Airport between December 3–22, 2017. A total of 287 survey sheets were collected after three weeks. A final total of 251 validated samples were utilized for analysis after thirty-six questionnaires were deemed inaccurate or inadequate.
In this study, SPSS Window version 21.0 and AMOS 19.0 were used to analyze the collected samples. Statistical techniques used in the questionnaire analysis were as follows. First, to analyze the characteristics of the sample of this study, the demographic and general characteristics were analyzed by frequency. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to confirm the fit of the research model and validity and reliability were verified. In order to investigate the causality between the models for hypothesis testing, the structural equation model was used for analysis.
IV. Empirical Analysis
In order to verify discriminant validity and convergent validity for all study units, a total measurement model analysis was conducted to confirm factor analysis(Anderson and Gerbing, 1988). The results showed that p=0.000 of CMIN was statistically significant. It can be seen that it is suitable for the overall acceptance level. The fit of the whole model was p = 0.000, CMIN / df = 1.675, RMR = 0.03, GFI = 0.81, AGFI = 0.758, NFI = 0.771, RFI = 0.731, IFI = 0.893, TLI = 0.878, CFI = 0.893, RMSEA = 0.059.
The statistic of the CMIN value, which is an index that evaluates the overall fitness of the model, was large. X2 varies depending on the sample size, which is a problem of verification. CMIN/df is less than 3.0, which is the overall fit. Although the absolute fit index is a little low at the recommended level of acceptance, considering the overall increase of fit index, there is no need to revise the
model because the fit of the measurement model is good. The other index, RMSEA, is also appropriate for the level of acceptance, so it is easy to analyze the structural model. The above results are shown in table 1.
The SMC value exceeded the reference value by 0.4 or more, and the test statistic (Critical Ratio: C.R) was larger than ± 1.96. The results of the analysis of the model of the research model proposed in this study were judged synthetically and acceptable. As a result of the validity analysis of the measurement concept of this study, the standardized factor loadings of all the measurement variables were above 0.5 and statistically significant(C.R.> 2.00). The validity of the measurement concept of this study is shown in table 3.
The p-value of CMIN, which is the most fundamental of the absolute fitness index for the evaluation of the fit of the model, was 0.000, which was lower than 0.05, indicating a lower fitness. However, the additional fit index GFI 0.767, NFI 0.728, CFI 0.855, and RMR 0.114 were below 0.9 The model of this study is suitable considering GFI value which is sensitive to the number of samples and the number of samples. The CFI of the incremental fit index is 0.855, which is appropriate, and the other index, RMSEA, is also included in the acceptance level. It was judged that the characteristics measured in this study appropriately reflected the estimation model(Table 2). This study shows that the model of the study is suitable and analyzed the significance and causal relationship between the factors in the model. The specific statistics between the constituent concepts are shown in table 4 and fig 2.
The results of the structural equation analysis showed that the available time had a significant effect on menu navigation time with Estimate = 0.06 and CR = 0.626, but the available amount showed Estimate = 0.285 and CR = 3.003 in menu search time, 0.001, respectively. In addition, enjoyment of dining out and charm of service provider were significant in menu navigation time with Estimate = 0.469, CR = 3.306, Estimate = 0.233 and CR = 1.673 respectively.
On the other hand, the atmosphere did not affect menu navigation time significantly. The hypothesis that menu satisfaction affects trust is statistically significant at significance level 0.001 with Estimate = 0.383 and C.R. = 3.671. External accreditation and reputation were found to have a significant effect on trust, with Estimate = -0.077, C.R. = -0.977, Estimate = 0.154, and C.R. = 1.126, respectively. The word of mouth was found to be significant by showing confidence in Estimate = 0.439, C.R. = 2.968. In the impulse menu order, the menu search time was found to have a significant effect, but the confidence did not show any significant result. Therefore, H-3, H-6, H-7, H-10 hypotheses were not supported by the hypothesis and the rest were supported.
The study was able to suggest basic strategies for impulse buying behavior of passengers at F&B airport restaurants by analyzing variables that affect menu browsing time and trust. The purpose of this study was to form a model of impulsive order behavior of customers in the aforementioned dining environment.
Based on previous studies, it was proven that menu search time stimulated impulsive purchases. Menu browsing time has been found to strongly influence passengers’ impulsive order behavior. A passenger with a strong “consumption ability” navigates the menu for a longer period, which increases the likelihood of impulsive purchases.
When passengers spend sufficient time reading a menu, they tend to act more impulsively when ordering an item from the menu. In order to increase the profitability of a fine restaurant, it is essential to increase the menu browsing time of the customer. This study suggests a basic strategy to increase the menu search time at an F&B restaurant.
Service appeal also has a significant influence on menu navigation time; therefore, managers must carefully consider not only the staff uniform style but also staff recruitment. Superior restaurant managers should take into account the physical attractiveness of employees. Further, as apparel is considered a major component of visual appeal, aesthetically appealing employee uniforms must be selected to ensure that the apparel code and outfit criteria of the employees are consistently maintained.
Third-party certification did not appear to help build passenger confidence, thus yielding contradictory results compared to previous studies. Specifically, third-party certification was not effective at the F&B airport restaurants. Word of mouth had the strongest influence on trust formation. When passengers were satisfied with the menu items of F&B restaurants they had previously ordered, they tended to believe that the menu items they had not tried would also be good.
In sum, impulsive menu orders have a direct impact on the profitability of F&B restaurants. This study suggests a specific management strategy to increase impulsive menu orders of passengers for the benefit of F&B restaurant operators and the airport authority.
This study was supported by Korea National University of Transportation in 2017.