Dining with distance during the pandemic: an enquiry from the theory of proxemics and social exchange

Hanqun Song, Emily Ma, Mingming Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Building on proxemics theory and social exchange theory, this study investigated how different levels of psychological social distancing, protective wears, and social interactions influence customers’ perceived risk, social exchange with service employees and their intention to avoid dining in restaurants under the “new normal” of COVID-19. Using an experimental design with a total of 404 participants in U.S., this study shows that regardless of social distancing measures, both protective wear and social interaction levels can significantly influence customers’ risk perception and social exchange quality. The study contributes to the tourism and hospitality literature by providing a timely understanding of customers’ psychological perceptions, and responses of dining in restaurants during this difficult transition time. More importantly, this study adds hard empirical evidence to the current debate of restaurant re-open measures beyond widely circulating opinion pieces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1450
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume25
Issue number9
Early online date24 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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