Recently, the restaurant industry has witnessed an unprecedented rise of healthy restaurant brands. However, the existing literature offers little guidance on how to effectively leverage such brands in the marketplace. To address this gap, the current research examines a novel marketing strategy (i.e., using handwritten typeface on menus) that enhances consumer responses to healthy restaurant brands. The results show that handwritten typeface creates a competitive advantage by conveying a sense of human touch, which subsequently induces the perception that love is symbolically imbued in the restaurant's offerings. The belief that “menu contains love” leads to a wide range of favorable consumer responses including positive attitudes toward the menu, enhanced perceived healthiness of the brand, and higher social media engagement. The results show that these positive effects occur only when the restaurant brand is health-focused. Moreover, the handwritten typeface effect with healthy restaurants is observed in both social and solo dining contexts. Implications for branding, visual design, and menu psychology are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes