Engaging customers for loyalty in the restaurant industry: The role of satisfaction, trust, and delight

Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden-Everson, Tracey Sara Dagger, Greg Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment and maintenance of enduring customer-provider relationships remains a primary objective for many service providers. In addition to providing satisfying experiences, customer loyalty is likely to be earned through relational determinants such as trust, customer delight, commitment, and involvement within the service relationship. Despite this, few studies have explored how these constructs combine to engage customers and determine customer loyalty over time. Through this research the authors examine the effect of these constructs on loyalty using a structural equation modeling approach and a sample of 474 service consumers in the restaurant industry. They also examine the extent to which service experience moderates the effect of these relational determinants on loyalty. The results indicate that satisfaction, trust, and delight ultimately generate customer loyalty in the restaurant industry. Interestingly the salience of the relational determinants in the development of loyalty did not differ significantly based on the customer s level of relationship experience. The findings of the authors in this research have important strategic implications for restaurateurs managing the customer?provider relationship, and for service managers who predominantly rely on the measurement of satisfaction to monitor customer loyalty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52 - 75
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Food Service Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this