Solo dining in Chinese restaurants: A mixed-method study in Macao

Suh hee Choi, Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Saloomeh Tabari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Given the emergence of solo dining resulting from the changing family structure and increasingly individualised lifestyle in contemporary Chinese society, this study investigates solo dining in the setting of Chinese restaurants in Macao, including the solo dining motivations, behavioural characteristics, and experiences, taking into considerations the underlying social and cultural factors. Adopting a sequential exploratory mixed-method design, 18 interviews were conducted, followed by a survey with 493 local diners. Findings show that freedom of choice and satisfying hunger are the main motivations for solo dining, and some solo-friendly attributes, food-related attributes, and restaurant characteristics are considered as important elements. Solo dining is perceived positively, partly because its perceptions and experiences are shaped by the diners’ socio-cultural backgrounds and unique regional characteristics, in which solo dining is considered relatively common in Macao as opposed to extant literature that has suggested an essentialised assumption about Chinese group-oriented dining preference. Sociocultural insights and managerial implications are provided in catering to the growing solo diner market.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102628
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


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