Customer engagement: A framework for assessing customer-brand relationships: The case of the restaurant industry

Jana Bowden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Customer-brand relationships do not just exist, they develop over time and through multiple service experiences, yet the literature typically discusses customer-brand relationships as being a largely static phenomenon. Very limited attention has been given over to the service evaluation processes of customers who are new to a service brand, as compared to customers who are experienced with the service brand. Research additionally continues to rely on the historically dominant customer satisfaction paradigm as the most effective method with which to evaluate service experiences at the expense of other relational mediators such as involvement, calcu- lative commitment, affective commitment, and trust. This limits the extent to which a more complete and dynamic understanding of the nature of customer-brand relationships and the processes by which engagement with the brand and ultimately loyalty to the brand may be fostered for customers in different consumption stages. A phenomenological investigation into the process of customer engagement, as revealed through customers’ restaurant dining experiences, is presented to examine these issues. The data for this study was provided by five focus groups and nine in-depth interviews. The results of the study indicate that the role of relational mediators differs across new and repeat purchase segments of customers. These findings have important implications for the management of customer-brand relationships amongst different customer segments and for the development of operational strategies to improve service provision within the restaurant industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-596
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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