An examination of customers' adoption of restaurant search mobile applications
Mobile applications (apps) have been increasingly popular among consumers in various fields in recent years. In the hospitality and tourism context, more and more consumers have adopted a variety of mobile apps to facilitate their dining and travelling experience. However, restaurant-related mobile apps have rarely been discussed in the literature. This study investigates how dining customers adopt restaurant search mobile apps in the Chinese market.
An integrated model incorporating the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and motivation theory was developed to examine antecedents of technology adoption behaviour. The integrated model proposes that both extrinsic motivations (e.g., perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) and intrinsic motivations (e.g., personal innovativeness and independence) are potentially important predictors of the customers’ intention to use a particular technology. The customers’ attitude towards using the technology plays a mediating role between the motivations and adoption intention. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) using LISREL and multiple regression analysis using SPSS were performed to test the research hypotheses.
The study was conducted through an online questionnaire. Data was collected from 209 Chinese dining customers who use mobile apps in their daily life. Most of the study samples were frequent mobile app users with experience using restaurant search mobile apps in their everyday lives. The findings of this study revealed that the strongest predictor of intentions to use restaurant search mobile apps was ‘perceived usefulness,’ followed by ‘personal innovativeness.’ The relationships between motivational factors and the behavioural intentions were partially mediated by the kinds of attitudes towards using the mobile app. The model explained 60% of the total variance of intention to use restaurant search mobile apps.
The original contribution this study makes is to investigate restaurant search mobile apps from the perspectives of customers. The study also addresses the gap in literature about mobile technology adoption in the Chinese dining industry. The empirical results contribute to the validation of TAM and offer new perspectives for examining mobile technology adoption in hospitality contexts. In addition to the functionality of technology, consumers’ personal traits can also be significant antecedents to technology adoption. Practically, the findings of the study provide restaurant managers and decision makers some valuable insights into contemporary Chinese dining customers and information about the motivations of their adoption behaviour. The study’s findings can be used to guide restaurant organisations to apply appropriate restaurant search mobile apps as effective marketing tools.