Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Consumer Services Management

Major Professor

John Antun

Committee Members

Steve Morse, Carol A. Costello


The National Restaurant Association (1999) indicates that coupons are the second most likely marketing tactic to be utilized in the restaurant industry (Hsu & Powers, 2002). Coupons are a part of marketing a product because the consumer perceives savings (Lichtenstein & Netemeyer, 1991). Customers are the vital driving force in the hospitality industry and it is what customers think and feel, not what the operators or corporations do that defines the marketing orientation (Hsu, & Powers, 2002). Whether customers are generated through creating new ones, stealing them from competitors or they are bound by loyalty, the hospitality industry requires customers for survival (Lewis, & Chambers, 2000). Although they are viable marketing strategy, improperly used, the coupon promotions could have a negative impact (Hsu & Powers, 2002). Coupons are often used in service companies, but little is known as to their influence. The bulk of the information provided encompasses retail couponing and may serve as a basis for better understanding how coupons affect the food service industry (Taylor, 2000). There are two consumer choices; purchase or nonpurchase (Gonul & Srinivasan, 1996).

This study investigates the use of coupons on the decision process to purchase, as well as the consumer’s motivations, behaviors and attitudes toward coupons in the full-service restaurant segment. A research instrument was completed by a randomized sample of 246 consumers in the Knoxville, TN market. Further a purchase or no purchase experiment as conducted with the sample and an additional population. The results from both interventions were analyzed and applied to implications effecting the full-service dining segment of the restaurant industry. Consumers report they want coupons to be available. However, the results of this study indicate coupons not be well utilized.

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