AGGLOMERATION STRUCTURE OF ETHNIC RESTAURANTS AND THE EFFECT OF ACCEPTANCE IN THE U.S.

2019-10-17T19:32:09Z (GMT) by Sangwon Jung
As the attention of ethnic restaurants grow from consumers, researchers have questioned the proper assessment of identifying ethnic restaurant consumer demand and where ethnic restaurants should locate accordingly. For this reason, past literature has focused on demographic features to answer these questions. However, unlike non-ethnic restaurant demand, ethnic restaurant demand cannot be fully explained by demographics since the demand for ethnic restaurants consist of two major groups, which are non-ethnic and ethnic consumers. The two consumer groups differ in location, which ethnic consumers are clustered while other non-ethnic consumers are spread across the geographical plain. The two consumer groups also differ in acceptance which ethnic consumers have a pre-established notion of the ethnic restaurant theme while non-ethnic consumers require acceptance to consume. This study proposes that since ethnic restaurants have these differences ethnic restaurants show difference in clustering patterns. More specifically this study attempts to identify whether higher acceptance from non-ethnic consumers allow ethnic restaurants to expand to other non-ethnic consumer regions while ethnic restaurants are mostly clustered in ethnic communities. In addition, the study further investigates whether ethnic restaurant clustering patterns differ by its restaurant price segment. The empirical results of this study show that acceptance of ethnic food, general restaurant opinion, and country of origin plays a crucial role in ethnic restaurants to diffuse to non-ethnic consumers while ethnic restaurants agglomerate near ethnic communities. However, higher price restaurants were found cluster stronger than lower price restaurants to reduce search cost for consumers which confirms previous studies. Finally, this study found that acceptance of food and general restaurant opinion from non-ethnic consumers affects ethnic restaurants in the ethnic community to diffuse but acceptance of country of origin showed ethnic restaurants in ethnic communities to cluster which suggest that cultural aspects allow ethnic restaurants to cluster stronger in ethnic communities.