Customer Satisfaction of Theme Restaurant Attributes and Their Influence on Return Intent

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Theme restaurants were designed to provide customers with not only a meal, but also an entertaining experience. After a rapid rise in popularity in the early to mid 1990s, theme restaurants began to experience a decline in market share. As this segment of the restaurant industry experiences the downsizing of many once popular brands, it is imperative that investigations are undertaken to determine the causes of this decline. Many researchers have attributed customer satisfaction and subsequent return intent as key indicators regarding the success of a restaurant. Although considerable research has been conducted on these indicators in the service industry, none has focused on theme restaurants in particular. Relying upon expectancy disconfirmation theory, this study adds to the existing body of customer satisfaction literature by examining four theme restaurant attributes (food quality, service quality, atmosphere, and novelty) and their influence on return intent. Interestingly, customers were least satisfied with novelty. Further, customer satisfaction with theme restaurant food quality and atmosphere were the only significant attributes influencing return intent.