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While the usage of social media reviews has become increasingly popular in recent years, few studies in this context of Bangladesh have investigated its impact on restaurant visit intention. Therefore, this study aims to explain the role of attitude toward social media reviews in customers' restaurant visit intention from the perspective of Bangladesh. In doing so, predictors of attitude toward social media reviews were also ascertained and their indirect effects on restaurant visit intention were investigated.Design/methodology/approachA survey questionnaire was administered to 300 university students. A six-factor based measurement model was proposed, and structural equation modeling (SEM) was used in testing the hypotheses represented by the model. Furthermore, a focus group discussion with 12 respondents was also held to assess how negative reviews on social media affect the customers' restaurant visit intention.FindingsThis study reveals that perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, trustworthiness and information quality of social media reviews are positively related to attitude toward using positive social media reviews for choosing a restaurant. Furthermore, attitude toward positive social media reviews directly contributes to the intention to visit restaurants. Besides, attitude toward social media reviews fully mediates the relationship of perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and trustworthiness with restaurant visit intention, whereas it partially mediates the relationship between information quality and restaurant visit intention. Besides, results from focus group discussion revealed that customers typically trust negative reviews which reduce their intent to visit restaurants.Research limitations/implicationsThe samples chosen for this study belong only to a particular stratum of the population (students from a specific institution/university). Hence, the outcomes should be generalized with caution.Practical implicationsThis study provides practical guidelines for the restaurant marketers to formulate improved strategic decisions by tracking the restaurant customers' attitudes, behavioral intentions, sentiments and share of voice on social media platforms. The results of this study will encourage the restaurant marketers to build sustainable relationships with influential food bloggers to spawn positive electronic word of mouth (e-WOM).Originality/valueThis is one of the first studies in Bangladesh that have covered up a timely and untouched research area, providing empirical evidence regarding the effects of attitude toward social media reviews on restaurant visit intent in the context of a South Asian country like Bangladesh.
South Asian Journal of Business Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 16, 2022
Keywords: Attitude; Social media review; Restaurant; Behavioral intention; e-WOM
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