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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1977||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Available online 30 July 2012
This study examines the effects of green practices at restaurants on customer-based brand equity formation. A survey of 512 American diners showed that implementing two aspects of green practices, food focused and environmentally focused, influenced customer perceptions of green brand image and behavioral intentions, whereas the effects of green practices on perceived quality were not significant. The relative impact of the two aspects of green practices differs by restaurant type. In upscale casual dining restaurants, green practices focused on foods were more effective in enhancing a green brand image and behavioral intentions as compared to those with an environmental focus. On the other hand, for casual dining customers the effects of green practices with an environmental focus were more convincing in terms of improving a restaurant's green brand image and behavioral intentions as compared to food focused initiatives. In relation to self-perception, the results indicated that diners with high health and environmental-consciousness responded more positively to restaurant green practices than those with a low self-perception of health and environmental-consciousness.
Spurred by unprecedented consumer demand for healthy, environmentally friendly products, sustainability has become an integral part of doing business in all domains of industry. “Greening” has become a key to survival and prosperity for some businesses (Hu et al., 2010). The term green refers to “actions that reduce the impact on the environment, such as eco-purchasing or recycling” (Wolfe and Shanklin, 2001, p. 209). Companies are recognizing the marketing potential of green initiatives and working to gain an edge over competitors by becoming greener companies (Schubert et al., 2010). Green practices are particularly crucial in the restaurant industry, where building and managing strong brands has become one of the crucial tasks of restaurant owners and brand managers ( Jeong and Jang, 2010 and Schubert et al., 2010). According to National Restaurant Associations, 62% of consumers said they are more likely to spend their money at a restaurant if they know it is green (NRA, 2011). Engaging in green restaurant practices has been shown to positively affect corporate brand image and promote financial benefits, as well as positive contribution to the economic sustainability of the local community (Schubert et al., 2010). In a recent NRA survey of 500 restaurant owners and operators, approximately two-thirds (65%) have a recycling program (NRA, 2011). Further, of the operators without a recycling program, 17% plan to start one in the next year (NRA, 2011). Some chain restaurants, such as Arby's and Chipotle, have been active participants in environmentally responsible implementation. For example, they have at least one Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified restaurant, which is one of the most widely recognized certification programs (Elan, 2009). However, most restaurant product and process activities are hidden from customers, as they take place back-of-the-house (Kassinis and Soteriou, 2003). In a NRA Restaurant Operator Survey (2011), among 325 respondents who have recycling programs back-of-the house recycling (74%) is more common than front-of-the-house (43%). Another hurdle for restaurateurs incorporating green practices in their daily operations is that consumer perceptions and preferences for green attributes in restaurants remain unclear. The most important green practice a restaurant can implement tends to vary across restaurant segments. For instance, upscale casual dining customers value serving organic food and drinks over not using Styrofoam to-go containers, while using recycled paper products ranks as the most important practice in fast food restaurants. Although previous research has paid attention to consumer attitudes and behavioral intentions toward restaurants that offer environmentally friendly foods or practices, the effects of green practices in association with brand equity formation are still under explored. To fill the void, this study attempts to answer the following research questions from a consumer perspective: (1) Does implementing green practices in restaurants influence customer-based brand equity formation, such as perceived quality, green image of a restaurant, and behavioral intentions? and (2) Are the effects of green practices different across different restaurant segments? There are various green practices that can be implemented in restaurants, including energy efficiency, water efficiency, recycling, sustainable food, and pollution prevention. In order to test the relative effects of green practices as compared to no green practices, this study used hypothetical scenarios. Restaurant green practices were developed based on frequency and significance of practices, salience to customers, and ease of manipulation in a scenario-based experiment context (Choi and Parsa, 2006, Jeong and Jang, 2010 and Schubert et al., 2010). The scenarios represent the two categories of green practices: (1) green practices focused on food; (2) green practices with an environmental focus, and control: (3) no green practices. Furthermore, it is expected that the effect of green practices in restaurants is more salient for individuals with a higher self-perception of health and environmental-consciousness. The impact of green practices focused on food is more salient for individuals with a high self-perception of health. On the other hand, the impact of green practices with an environmental focus is more salient for individuals with a high self-perception of environment. To fill the research gap, the specific objective of this study is to examine how green practices in restaurant affects customer-based brand equity formation elements, such as perceived quality, green brand image, and green behavioral intentions and whether the effects of green practices differ across different restaurant segments. This study begins with a review of the literature as it relates to green practices in restaurants, customer-based brand equity formation, and self-perceptions of health and environment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Despite its contributions and managerial implications, several limitations of this study need to be addressed. First, this study emphasizes two aspects of green practices that are significant, visible, and noticeable to customers. Thus, the inclusion of other dimensions of green practices, which may influence consumers’ perceptions and behaviors, may help expand our knowledge regarding customer perceptions of green restaurant practices in relation to perceived quality, green brand image, and behavioral intentions. Second, this study viewed green practices as a quality enhancer; however, our results did not support the positive effects of green practices on perceived quality. Therefore, future research should address other key variables of quality in restaurants, such as food, service, and atmosphere and test the relative impact of green practices on perceived quality. Third, this study was conducted in the United States, which is perceived as having higher levels of environmental awareness and green momentum. Future studies need to be conducted in other countries as well given the differences in consumer awareness of a restaurant's green practices and self or society-directed values. Another direction for future research involves personal characteristics, such as income-level or perceived socioeconomic class, which could relate to dining establishment and interest in green activities. How does the level of socioeconomic class influence the way customers choose and evaluate green restaurants? Are customers with high incomes willing to pay more for green practices than low income customers? Are highly educated customers more likely to go to green restaurants than less educated customers? Thus, further research that includes these variables may help broaden our knowledge of the customers’ perceptions of green practices and their relationship with brand-equity formation constructs.