Service Business

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 363–388 | Cite as

Building corporate reputation, overcoming consumer skepticism, and establishing trust: choosing the right message types and social causes in the restaurant industry

  • Dae-Young Kim
  • Sung-Bum KimEmail author
  • Kathleen Jeehyae Kim
Empirical article


This study aims to examine the effects of message type and adoption of various social-cause categories on consumers’ reactions in building trust, reducing consumer skepticism, and bolstering corporate reputations within the restaurant and foodservice industries. A 2 (type of message: a text-only message versus one with text and visuals) × 4 (types of social causes: health, human services, animal welfare, and environmental concern) between-subjects experimental design was employed. The sample involved 433 U.S. adult consumers who volunteered to take a survey. Participants responded with the lowest levels of skepticism, the highest levels of trust, and the greatest respect for corporate reputation when the messages they viewed included visuals to go along with the message text. No differences were found among the four types of social causes with regard to participants’ responses, except for perceived trust. We also found interaction effects on participants’ responses regarding the relationships between types of messages and social-cause categories.


Cause-related marketing Corporate reputation Skepticism Social causes Trust Type of message 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dae-Young Kim
    • 1
  • Sung-Bum Kim
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kathleen Jeehyae Kim
    • 3
  1. 1.Hospitality ManagementUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.College of Business AdministrationInha UniversityIncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Hospitality ManagementUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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