CSR and sustainability engagement is growing rapidly with ever-increasing attention. Accordingly, restaurant stakeholders now demand restaurant companies to disclose relevant ESG information (i.e., materiality) to analyze risks and opportunities that ESG factors bring to firms over the long term. As established in stakeholder theory, restaurant materiality is shaped by a firm's key stakeholders and also by the industry's distinguishing factor, franchising. However, despite their importance and timeliness, materiality and franchising remain largely absent from scholarly discussion in the field of tourism and hospitality. Using a novel industry-specific materiality classification of sustainability initiatives, here we show that franchising positively moderates the impact of investing in immaterial sustainability on firm performance. The results provide early empirical validation of stakeholder theory in relation to restaurant materiality and franchising, and show the impact of allocating a firm's resources to material and immaterial sustainability issues on firm performance in the restaurant context.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Strategy and Management