Role of Signals In Consumers’ Economic Valuation of Restaurant Choices

Michael S. Lin, Amit Sharma, Yuxia Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


While businesses provide “signals” related to products/services to alleviate information asymmetry and facilitate consumers’ economic valuation of their offerings, it is not always clear which of these signals is more effective. This study investigated the comparative effectiveness of signals on influencing consumers’ choices and their willingness to pay (WTP) for a restaurant meal. Results of an online stated choice experiment (N =328) suggest that local independent ownership, local sourcing, and food quality significantly influenced individuals’ choices and increased WTP for a meal. Higher food quality signal in a local and independently owned restaurant was associated with a 40% WTP price premium than in a national chain restaurant. Findings of this study contribute to our understanding of signaling factors’ relative influence on an individual’s decision. The study also offers management implications for restaurant owners on how to effectively align signals to target potential consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1100
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of Signals In Consumers’ Economic Valuation of Restaurant Choices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this