The Impact of Customer Loyalty and Restaurant Sanitation Grades on Revisit Intention and the Importance of Narrative Information: The Case of New York Restaurant Sanitation Grading System

Min Gyung Kim, Hyunjoo Yang, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


New York City launched a restaurant sanitation letter grade system in 2010. We evaluate the impact of customer loyalty on restaurant revisit intentions after exposure to a sanitation grade alone, and after exposure to a sanitation grade plus narrative information about sanitation violations (e.g., presence of rats). We use a 2 (loyalty: high or low) × 4 (sanitation grade: A, B, C, or pending) between-subjects full factorial design to test the hypotheses using data from 547 participants recruited from Amazon MTurk who reside in the New York City area. Our study yields three findings. First, loyal customers exhibit higher intentions to revisit restaurants than non-loyal customers, regardless of sanitation letter grades. Second, the difference in revisit intentions between loyal and non-loyal customers is higher when sanitation grades are poorer. Finally, loyal customers are less sensitive to narrative information about sanitation violations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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