Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

Major

Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Susan W. Arendt

Abstract

Malaysia was reported as having the highest overweight and obesity rates across Southeast Asia. It is recognized that there are many contributors to this epidemic. Given that restaurants are popular places when eating out and restaurant foods are generally high in calories, there is concern that restaurants may be a contributor to this epidemic. To help consumers make healthful dietary decisions when eating at restaurants, the Malaysian government plans to enact a nationwide menu labeling law by 2025. Mixed findings have been reported in the literature about the outcome from labeling foods in restaurants. In Malaysia, research on menu labeling is limited and at the present time, there have been no known studies in Malaysia examining the influence of menu labeling on consumers’ actual purchase behaviors. Therefore, researchers examined the influence of consumers’ intentions to use menu labeling on their actual purchased behaviors. Researchers also assessed the differences in consumer characteristics (e.g. age and income) for those noticing and using menu labeling in Malaysian restaurants.

The theory of planned behavior (TPB) with an additional construct of health consciousness was used as an underpinning theory. Data were collected from consumers at a chain restaurant in Malaysia using an online survey displayed on an electronic tablet and a paper-based checklist of the restaurant menu items. Two steps structural equation modeling and multivariable binary logistic regression were used to analyze 580 surveys. Based on the results, the TPB constructs: consumers’ perceived behavioral controls, attitudes, subjective norms, and the additional construct health consciousness positively and significantly influenced consumers’ intentions to use menu labeling. However, the influence of consumers’ intentions to use menu labeling on consumers’ actual purchase behaviors was not significant.

Malaysian restaurants, consumers’ with a monthly income of MYR 4,000 to MYR 4,999 had three times the odds of noticing menu labels. Consumers’ who were between 30 and 39 years old, and reported having good general health, were less likely to use menu labeling. Furthermore, on average, there was no significant difference in actual purchase behavior between those who reported using and not using menu labels. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.

Keywords: Restaurant, menu labeling, consumer behavior, actual purchase behavior, TPB

Copyright Owner

Syafiqah Rahamat

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

207 pages

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