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Consumer Purchase Intention At Traditional Restaurant And Fast Food Restaurant Wan Zawiyah Wan Halim, Abu Bakar Hamed, Universiti Utara Malaysia Abstract Remarkably little has been written on consumer purchase intention in the context of Malaysian restaurant industry milieu. The objective of this study is to examine correlation between consumer attitude, satisfaction, loyalty, and purchase intention at traditional restaurant and fast food restaurant. The results indicate that consumer loyalty was highly significantly related to consumer purchase intention at both types of restaurants.

Acknowledging that consumer loyalty is the most significant variable that correlated with purchase intention, thus we infer that loyal customers would repurchase more and recommend their favorable restaurant to others. It is hope that the findings of this study would add to existing empirical research and knowledge in the local and global context to academicians and practitioners. Keywords: consumer attitude, consumer loyalty, consumer satisfaction, purchase intention, traditional restaurant, fast food restaurant

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Background Malaysian restaurant industry is undergoing major changes due to rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles, which cause the increase in eating out trend and sways consumers’ choice on which types of restaurant to be visited. This eating out trend also has flourished the coexistent of traditional and fast food restaurants in Malaysia. Traditional restaurant is defined as non-fast food, processes of differentiation, with full or partially services that can be extended to cover many ethnic food operations (Wood, 1994).

A fast-food restaurant is characterized as a quick services of franchised restaurant chain, which supplied the food quickly after ordering and minimal service offering for dining and takeout facilities (Elliot and Reed, 1999). Understanding that different people select different types of restaurants for eating out venue will recommend possible strategies for restaurateurs to attract consumers and position their meals by using appropriate marketing mix strategies.

Pertaining to this circumstance, the current research attempts to examine the correlation between consumer attitude, satisfaction, loyalty, and purchase intention at traditional restaurant and fast food restaurant, respectively. Consumer purchase intention, consumer attitude, satisfaction and loyalty Whitlark, Geurts and Swenson (1993) define purchase intention as a purchase probability associated with an intention category at the percentage of individuals that will actually buy product. In the current study, we define consumer purchase intention as consumer who make a repetitious purchase and would return back to their preferred restaurants.

Seeing that purchase intention is a subject of great interest to policy makers and business practitioners, knowing which variable that influence purchase intention are the most ANZMAC 2005 Conference: Consumer Behaviour 107 important to a particular customer group and help restaurateurs to make predictions on consumers’ choice of restaurant. Based on Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) multi-attribute attitude model, we suggest that a consumer’s attitude towards restaurants food are determined by food attributes that influence theirs purchasing decisions.

An attitude is described as the psychological tendency of a person to respond or behave, in a consistently positive or negative manner with respect to a stimulus as a result of their attitude toward that stimulus (Verdurme and Viaene, 2003). In the restaurant industry, customers’ level of satisfaction is strongly associated with repeated purchase intention and return patronage (Cho and Park, 2001). Cho and Park (2001) defined satisfaction as a summary response varying intensity, with a time specific point of determination and limited duration, directed towards focal aspects of product acquisition and consumption.

Oliver (1999) asserted that the use of customer loyalty in segmenting the consumer groups would increase the likelihood of a positive relationship between past patronage and present purchase. Customer loyalty is defined as the degree to which customer has exhibited repeat purchase behavior of a particular company product and service; and the significance of that expenditure in terms of the customer’s total outlay (Heelier, Geursan, Carr and Rickard, 2003).

As the extent to which a customer patronizes the restaurant and desires to maintain an ongoing relationship with their particular choice of restaurant, we expected that customer loyalty would become a key determinant of purchase intention in the restaurant industry. The conceptual model for the study is shown in Figure 1. The hypothesis of the study is that; H: The consumer attitude, satisfaction, and loyalty are correlated with purchase intention at traditional restaurant and fast food restaurant, respectively.

Figure 1 shows the hypothesized research model Independent variables (Correlation) Consumer attitude Consumer satisfaction Consumer loyalty Methodology Data collection and measurement Consumer surveys were conducted in March 2005 using the intercept method at the selected traditional and fast food restaurants in four cities in Malaysia. We used the convenience sampling via a self-administered questionnaire. By using an intercept method, the researchers and the enumerators waited outside of the selected restaurant and choose one customers out of every three who purchased their food and meals.

These selected consumers were asked to voluntarily participate in the study. To encourage participation in the study, customers were given a souvenir upon completed the survey. Dependent variables Purchase intention ANZMAC 2005 Conference: Consumer Behaviour 108 With that method, we managed to get 300 respondents from each types of restaurant with the total of 600 respondents. Of all 600 questionnaires distributed to the respondents, 575 (95. 83) were returned and 572 (95. 33) responses were usable for data analysis.

The relevant literature and survey instruments developed in the past studies have provided the basis for developing our questionnaire. The consumer attitudes scale was adapted from Page and Luding (2003), satisfaction measurement from Law, Hui and Zhao (2004); consumer loyalty from Lyon and Powers (2003), and purchase intention adopted from Newberry, Klemz, and Boshoff (2003). All item were measured on 5 point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Pilot test reliability estimated ranged from . 80 to . 95. The reliability alpha for traditional restaurant were . 82, . 88, . 90, and . 79 and for fast food restaurant were . 3, . 88, . 89, and . 77 consecutively were obtained for consumer attitude, satisfaction, loyalty and purchase intention, respectively. The Cronbach alpha shows a consistently high result, above . 70, which indicates their internal consistencies across all variables (Sekaran, 2003). Results Bivariate analysis (Pearson correlation) was undertaken to examine the correlation in the research hypotheses. The result of the analysis is presented in table 1 for traditional restaurants and table 2 for fast food restaurant. The hypothesis states that the consumer attitude, satisfaction and loyalty are correlated with purchase intention.

The result of these analyses indicated that consumer loyalty was highly positively (r = . 793) and highly significant (p = . 001 level). The correlation between consumers attitude and purchase intention was positive and significant (r = . 766) at p = . 001 level. The statistical analysis yield that r = . 751 indicate at p = . 001 level, show the positive and significant correlation between consumer satisfaction and purchase intention. Table 2 present the analysis result for fast food restaurants. The result of these analyses indicated that consumer loyalty of fast food restaurant was highly positively (r = . 89) and highly significant (p = . 001 level). Whereas the correlation between consumers attitude and purchase intention was positive and significant (r = . 756) at p = . 001 level. The statistical analysis yield that r = . 325 indicate at p = . 001 level, show the positive and significant correlation between consumer satisfaction and purchase intention. Table 1: Correlations matrix of traditional restaurant Variables Attitude Satisfaction Loyalty Attitude 1 Satisfaction . 852** 1 Loyalty . 756** . 810** 1 Intention . 766** . 751** . 793** ** Correlation is significant at the 0. 01 level (2-tailed).

Intention 1 ANZMAC 2005 Conference: Consumer Behaviour 109 Table 2: Correlations matrix of fast food restaurant Variables Attitude Satisfaction Loyalty Attitude 1 Satisfaction . 366** 1 Loyalty . 771** . 452** 1 Intention . 756** . 325** . 789** ** Correlation is significant at the 0. 01 level (2-tailed). Intention 1 As the result shown in table 1 and 2, the correlations are positive and can be considered high for consumer loyalty and attitude for both types of restaurant and consumer satisfaction for traditional restaurant because they were significantly correlated at more than r = . 7 (Hair et al. 2003). Although the consumer satisfaction showed a lower correlation, the finding revealed that the independent variables are correlated with purchase intention at fast food restaurant. Thus, the hypothesis is accepted. Discussion The present study is undertaken with the general purpose of contributing to the knowledge base concerning how individual consumers’ attitude, satisfaction and loyalty correlated with purchase intentions. The empirical information generated in this research offer some new findings as well as support and enrich more research in the scope of comparison study.

The results of our study confirmed with Bowen and Chen’s (2001) study indicated that consumer loyalty was the most significantly and positively variable that explaining the variance in the purchase intention for both types of restaurant. A positive relationship between attitude and purchase intention was found, which verified with Andrew’s (1992) study illustrated ranges of factors affecting consumer food choice and indicates that attitudes to food have changed in the past decade.

The result revealed that consumers’ satisfaction signified high correlation with the purchase intention at traditional restaurant is consistent with Kivela et al (1999) study who concluded that dining satisfaction appears to moderate the relationship between the dining experience and post-dining behavioral intentions. It might suggest that the food items offers at traditional restaurant is satisfied more due to the closed cultural norms and gastronomy heritage of Malaysian society. On the other hand consumer show a lower satisfaction at fast food restaurant may be due to the standardisation, and indifferent of food menus.

Several limitations of this study are including small number of respondents, which affect the generalisability of the study and only little types of restaurant establishments to represent the whole of Malaysian restaurant industry altogether. Future research should provide accurate definitions of the segmentation and classification of the eating out places as important aspects in order to express and suit with the latest of eating trends. ANZMAC 2005 Conference: Consumer Behaviour 110 Reference Ajzen, I. , Fishbein, M. 1980. Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Prentice Hall, New York. Andrew, F. , 1992.

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