The Impact of Using a Foreign-language in Restaurant Menus on Customers’ Attitude and Behavioural Intention

Bi, Hongyang
Kim, Peter Beomcheol
Goodsir, Warren
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Although many ethnic restaurants present their menu in a foreign language as well as in English, there has been limited research regarding customers’ perceptions of a restaurant menu written in a foreign language. This study aims to investigate the use of foreign language on restaurant menus, and its psychological effects on customers’ perceptions. A total of 149 adults participated in the online survey testing the psychological influence of using a foreign language on a restaurant menu. Three scenarios involving the use of English and/or Chinese language scripts on a restaurant menu were designed to fulfil the purpose of this research. The findings show that the use of a foreign language on a restaurant menu significantly influenced consumers’ perceptions of a restaurant’s brand personality, food authenticity, and target marketing as hypothesised. Furthermore, the results of a sub-group analysis show that a menu including Chinese script has significant impacts on non-Chinese speaking customers’ perceptions of the restaurant’s brand personality, food authenticity and target marketing, whereas a menu including Chinese script has no significant impacts on Chinese speaking customers’ perceptions. Providing an initial empirical evidence, this study adds new knowledge to the academic literature on customers’ perceptions toward the use of a foreign language on restaurant menus. In addition, the findings of the study can be used for restaurant practitioners as a reference to position their business in designing their menu by including the use of a foreign language.

Foreign-language , Restaurant menu , Customer's Perceptions , Brand personality , Food authenticity , Target marketing
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